a captive little soldier on her finger

Aung San Suu Kyi is a woman who should be widely celebrated amongst society, yet many are ignorant of her good deeds. She is a social democratic stateswoman, politician, diplomat, and author. She serves as the leader of the National League for Democracy. She is the first woman to be a Minister of Foreign Affairs in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, Burma. She graduated from the University of Dehli in 1964, and Oxford in ’68. She went on to work for the United Nations for three years. Leading the NLD, her and her league won 81% of the vote for Parliament, but the military did not want that leadership, so she was put in house arrest before the elections. She was under house arrest for 15 years, which created an international outcry.

In 2015, her party won the elections by a landslide. Aung San Suu Kyi gained international acclaim. She received many honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Rafto Prize, the Sakharov Prize, the Order of Australia, and many others. She was among the honorary members of Nelson Mandela’s elders. During her time in house arrest, Suu Kyi devoted herself to Buddhism, which is reflected in her writings that had emphasis on love and compassion. Those who put her under arrest offered her freedom if she had left the country, but Suu Kyi refused, showing her bravery. She would have gotten the position as Prime Minister when the NLD won 50% of the vote for Parliament, but she was not permitted and it was a complete showing of discrimination.

Suu Kyi influenced Buddhist monk protests, despite the increasing pressure of military forces. She was released in 2010, and appeared in front of a crowd of her supporters, free and wizened. She finally got to see her family after 10 years. Some activists discriminated against Suu Kyi for her silence on the 2012 Rakhine State riots, and denied the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the state. She announced she would run for President in 2012 for the 2015 elections, even though she was barred constitutionally from presidency. She is currently the State Counsellor, and as soon as she was admitted at the position she released the order for amnesty for students arrested in jails for objecting to the National Education Bill. She’s the first female Foreign Minister of Myanmar, and she won’t be the last, because of how she can influence young girls that are in her previous position.

Title from “Taking What’s Not Yours” by TV Girl.

they call her out by name

IMG_7549 ┬áLupita Nyong’o is a woman who is long past due to have been featured on this blog. She is strong, she is talented, and she is passionate. On March 1st, 1983, the woman was born in Mexico to Kenyan-raised parents. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Hampshire University in Film and Theatre studies, and from then on pursued her acting career. She started as a production assistant in Hollywood, and in 2008 made her debut in the film “East River.” In 2009 she starred in the television series “Shuga” and in the same year wrote, produced, and directed the documentary “In My Genes.” She’s won countless awards, among them an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years a Slave.” The movie is something most consider to be her acting breakthrough.

IMG_7555In 2015, she co-starred in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which she pulled off amazingly. Besides being incredibly talented artistically, Lupita is fluent in many languages; Spanish, Luo, English, and Swahili. She speaks openly about the troubles of being a black woman in a very white Hollywood, and life in general. She’s also spoken about her insecurities as a teenager, and helped girls worldwide feel comfortable in their bodies. She’s worked behind the scenes in many productions, and will continue to appear in Star Wars movies. Among all of her philanthropy, she publicly advocates for elephants in Kenya, as a part of environmental conservation.

IMG_7552Lupita is also involved in the organization Mother Health International, which is dedicated to providing aid to women and children in Uganda or other impoverished, developing countries where they can’t get proper help by themselves. Once feeling self-conscious about her dark skin, Nyong’o admits to having thought about using cream to lighten it. She now embraces her beautiful skin with pride, modeling and showing children all over to love themselves no matter what. Her father works in the Kenyan Senate, while her mother took leadership in the Africa Cancer Foundation. With amazing role models like that, it’s no wonder the girl grew up to be such an influential, beautiful woman.

Title from “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crowes.