Advancement of Women – October 26, 2017

Muniba Mazari: The Inspiring “Iron Lady of Pakistan”

GoalCast – October 18, 2017: Muniba Mazari is lovingly referred to as the Iron Lady of Pakistan. And for all the right reasons.

At the age of 21, Muniba was left paralyzed from the hip down after surviving a tragic car accident. Her backbone was crushed and she sustained multiple fractures to her arm, shoulder, ribs and collarbone. Doctors told her that she would be unable to walk, paint, or give birth; this left her devastated and questioning her existence in the world… In her powerful and inspiring speech, Muniba shares coming to terms with her new purpose while being confined to a bed for two years. Nine years later, her inspirational story continues to touch people all over the world. Muniba was named one of BBC’s “100 Most Inspirational Women in 2015” and featured in Forbes’ “30 under 30” the following year.

Her presence in Pakistan continues to grow as she works as an anchor at Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV). She has also worked on campaigns for Toni&Guy and refuses to portray herself as a victim of circumstance. A firm believer in ‘turning adversity into opportunity’, this 29-year-old has made it her mission to inspire the same in others.

Jacinda Ardern, 37, caps meteoric rise by becoming New Zealand’s prime minister


Women in the World, New York Times – October 19, 2017: Jacinda Ardern will become New Zealand’s third-ever female prime minister, and, at 37 years old, the second-youngest P.M. in the country’s history, after the anti-immigration NZ First party announced that it would form a coalition government with the Labour leader. Since becoming leader of the Labour party three months ago, Ardern, a former DJ and lapsed Mormon, had energized a rapid surge in the party’s popularity that supporters began referring to as “Jacindamania.”

Not all the attention was positive. During the campaign, Ardern faced multiple questions from interviewers who insisted that her political ambitions meant that the public “[needed] to know” if she ever planned on having children. In one instance, Ardern famously called out an interviewer, telling him that “it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace.” Ardern had also admitted to “anger and disappointment” over repeated claims from opposition media that she was a “show pony” chosen solely for her “looks.”

I Lost a Leg After My Helicopter Crashed in Afghanistan. Sports Helped Me Get My Life Back

Health Magazine – October 10, 2017: Marine veteran Kirstie Ennis survived a helicopter crash and devastating injuries. Now she’s climbing mountains. At age 21, Kirstie Ennis was living the life of her dreams. The daughter of two Marines, she had enlisted at 17 and was flying combat and rescue missions in Afghanistan as an aerial observer and gunner. June 23, 2012, started like any other day. She and her team had already completed one mission and were en route to pick up Marines who were pinned down in an active combat zone in Helmand Province, when their helicopter suddenly went nose down, then rolled to the left and crashed. Kirstie suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as severe damage to her face, spine, shoulders and left leg.

In the years after the crash, Kristie endured dozens of surgeries to reconstruct her face and attempt to save her left leg. Then in 2015, doctors had to amputate the leg—first below the knee, then, after an infection set in, above the knee.

Instead of losing hope, she got hungry. She threw herself into mountain climbing, and set herself the goal of summiting the Seven Summits—the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Everest.

In March this year she summited Kilimanjaro, then in July topped Indonesia’s technical and treacherous Carstensz Pyramid—the first combat-wounded female amputee to achieve both peaks.

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