Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.  Last week, Marlo Thomas keyed us in on a documentary airing on PBS entitled ‘MAKERS: Women Who Make America’.  You can watch the documentary here.

MAKERS: Women Who Make America tells the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy. MAKERS captures with music, humor, and the voices of the women who lived through these turbulent times the dizzying joy, aching frustration and ultimate triumph of a movement that turned America upside-down.

In her article, Marlo Thomas put together a slideshow of photos of a few of the inspiring women featured in the documentary, taking us through moments in history when women rebelled against the status quo to do things that were only permitted for men.  I wanted to share a few…

Kathrine Switzer, Boston Marathoner

Kathrine Switzer broke a 70-year tradition in 1967 when she became the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, but to do so she had to enter as K. V. Switzer.  While many cheered her on, one outraged official tried to physically remove her from the race, and the resulting press coverage shone a light on the sexism in sports — ultimately opening doors for other women athletes.

Esta Soler, Founder, Futures Without Violence

When social worker Esta Soler began working in a drug treatment facility in 1971, the issue of domestic violence was rarely spoken about.  Esta became determined to shine a spotlight on the issue and eventually helped transform the national mindset about domestic violence, enlightening women regarding their rights and protections and getting those guidelines written into law.

Linda Alvarado, Alvarado Construction, Inc.

When Linda Alvarado was in college in 1969, she began working part-time on a construction site. Although she endured a great deal of harassment, she also won over many supporters and persevered.  In 1974, she launched her own construction company, landing high-profile projects with great success, and in the process, she became a trailblazer in the male-dominated construction business world.

Dolores Huerta, United Farm Workers

In 1966, community organizer Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez.  Her historic boycott against the grape industry led to better working conditions for farm workers, and a greater national awareness about labor and civil rights.

Bille Jean King, Tennis Legend

On and off the court, Billie Jean King has fought for women’s equality for nearly half a century, from her dazzling play, to her landmark “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs to her ongoing support of Title IX protections.  Her vision, commitment and strength have affected and inspired generations of women both on the court and beyond.

Click here to see more of these historic photos and vignettes from Marlo’s slideshow.

 Now is the chance to share your story.  In the spirit of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day,  MAKERS wants to hear about the journeys you’ve taken, the obstacles you have faced, how you tackled them, and the triumphs in your life.  Get the details here.