Phenomenal Women – Priyanka Chopra

If anyone watches the series Quantico, then you will have heard about Priyanka Chopra.  A firm favourite in the WoK HQ office she is an Indian actress who started out her career as Miss World in the year 2000.  A multi-talented performer who has had roles in tense dramas both in Bollywood and Hollywood she has a crossover appeal for both cultures.

Not content with being an entertainer Priyanka does lots of humanitarian work and especially enjoys working with young people in her native India.  She has twice been a UNICEF Ambassador and does voluntary work in the areas of health, gender equality and education to name a few.

If all of these achievements aren’t enough, she is also a recording artist with three albums under her belt.  No doubt we will be writing a more extended profile on Priyanka in the future, but for now, we wanted to leave you with a quote from her:

“Financial independence is paramount. My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. I think that was the soundest advice that I ever got. No matter where you go in life or who you get married to, you have to be financially independent – whether you use it or not.”

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Phenomenal Women (girl) – Anne Frank

One of the most distressing and compelling books that I read in my childhood was the Diary of Anne Frank.  Anne was born in Frankfurt, Germany and was held captive with her family during Nazi occupation.  The diary she wrote which was published posthumously shares her experiences of hiding with her family in the two years preceding their capture.

The diary is compelling because of its simplicity, written by a young girl there is an honesty and candour that both engages yet creates consternation as the tension and fear in some entries is almost palpable.

This entry from her diary demonstrates the optimism of youth which also creates a bittersweet, moment considering how well-known she has become.

I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent …

And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! …

I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!

When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”

Phenomenal Women – Tegla Loroupe

 You may or may not have heard the name Tegla Loroupe.  When we heard about her at WoK HQ, we knew that’s he had to be featured as one of our phenomenal women.  Tegla was born in Kenya in 1973 and is the proud holder of multiple world records with one of her most notable achievements being that she was the first African woman to win the New York Marathon.  An outstanding athlete and fearsome foe in marathons and long distance races she is also a dedicated humanitarian worker advocating for peace through her humanitarian foundation.

On the eve of International Women’s Day it seemed fitting to recognise her due to her international peacekeeping and humanitarian work as well as for her resilience.  Little known facts about her include that she learned to run distances when making her journey to school every day across a distance most of us couldn’t comprehend and then later due to her slight frame she struggled to be permitted to compete as a professional athlete but persisted.

The lesson we think she can teach us all is persistence, resilience, ambition, and humility.  Her actions demonstrate a leader who flourishes through service to others.