Women of Impact, In Their Own Words

Each International Women’s Day on March 8 we have an opportunity to join people around the world to raise awareness of women’s health issues and amplify the voices of women who are making an impact. In their own words, here is what some of these women have to say.


“In too many countries, ‘women’s empowerment’ remains a pipedream – little more than a rhetorical flourish added to a politician’s speech. Too many women are still missing out on the opportunity to get educated, support themselves and obtain the health services they need, when they need them. And that is why WHO and its partners are developing a new global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, and working to enshrine the health of women in the post-2015 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health through the Life-course, World Health Organization


“It is hard to find role models that remind you of yourself as a woman in surgery. It’s been so traditionally male, and unfortunately so many of the female role models have had to conform to the male stereotypes to survive.”

Surgery Resident Heather Logghe, MD, creator of the social media campaign, #ILookLikeASurgeon to take on the stereotypes of surgery in particular and medicine in general as professions dominated by men


“My story with a broken system is not mine alone. I have listened to the struggles of [sexual assault] survivors from different communities across America. Through data-driven, comparative analysis of state laws and policies, as well as meeting these survivors, it was made clear that there is a huge, but fixable, problem.”

Amanda Nguyen, 24, founder of Rise, a national nonprofit that fights for sexual violence survivors’ civil rights


“It’s a beautiful statue, I love it, but I’d really like this law to get passed.”

Documentary Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, reacting to the nomination of her film on honor killings, The Girl in the River, for an Academy Award and the Criminal Laws Amendment to the Anti-Honors Killing Laws Bill stalled in the Pakistani Senate