In ancient times, brave warrior women used cunning strategies to outwit the powerful male leaders of their day. They used both their intuitive instincts and their courage to fight oppression. This was their "goddess" power.
In 732 B.C. Queen Samsi (Shamsi) of Arabia rebelled against Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser III (745 - 727 B.C.) by refusing to pay tribute and perhaps by giving aid to an unsuccessful fight against Assyria by the king of Damascus. The Assyrian king captured her cities, and she was forced to flee to the desert where thirst and starvation got the best of her. She surrendered and was forced to pay tribute to the king. Although an officer of Tiglath Pileser III was stationed at her court, Samsi was allowed to continue to rule. Seventeen years later, she was still sending tribute to Sargon II.
After her husband died, for several months in A.D. 60-61 Queen Boudicca led the Iceni in revolt against the Romans in response to their treatment of her and her daughters. She burned three major Roman towns, Londinium (London), Verulamium (St. Albans), and Camulodunum (Colchester). In the end, the Roman military governor Suetonius Paullinus suppressed the revolt.
After two centuries of Chinese rule, the Vietnamese rose up against them under the leadership of two sisters, Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, who gathered an army of 80,000. They trained 36 women to be generals and drove the Chinese out of Viet Nam in A.D. 40. Trung Trac was then named ruler and renamed "Trung Vuong" or "She-king Trung."
The kingdom of Benin (in present-day Nigeria) was plunged into a state of turmoil at the end of the fifteenth century when oba Ozolua died and left two powerful sons to dispute succession. His son Esigie controlled Benin City while another son, Arhuaran, was based in the equally important city of Udo about twenty miles away. Esigie ultimately defeated his brother and conquered the Igala, reestablishing the unity and military strength of the kingdom. His mother, Idia, received much of the credit for these victories as her political counsel, together with her magical powers and medicinal knowledge, were viewed as critical elements of Esigie's success on the battlefield. To reward and honor her, Esigie created a new position within the court called the iyoba, or "queen mother," which gave her significant political privileges, including a separate residence with its own staff.
Very few women are aware of the history of these powerful and courageous women. According to Gerda Lerner:
Women are essential and central to creating society; they are and always have been actors and agents in history. Women have "made history," yet they have been kept from knowing their History and from interpreting history, either their own or that of men. Women have been systematically excluded from the enterprise of creating symbol systems. ... Women have not only been educationally deprived throughout historical time in every known society, they have been excluded from theory formation.
Thankfully it is now becoming statistically clear that those countries that ensure basic women's rights of education, health care, childcare, safe childbirth practices, and a political vote, are more stable economically and far less likely to succumb to extremism. Conversely, those countries, like the Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea and Barundi that do not honor the rights of women and girls, suffer economically and are much more susceptible to terrorism and extremism. Therefore, any investment into programs for the education, health, and livelihoods of women around the world will lead to a far more stable, and peaceful global environment.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a long advocate of women's rights around the world, said this:
I think that there is an absolute link. Part of the reason I have pursued it is because I see it in our national security interest. If you look at where we are fighting terrorism, there is a connection to groups that are making a stand against modernity, and that is most evident in their treatment of women.
In case after case when micro-investment programs for women were available the current
day women warriors seized the opportunity and fought poverty securing economic stability for their families. They were then able to re-write their histories, be role models to girls, and leaders in their communities. There is no single investment that will pay back such rich global dividends as investment into women and their rights. And, that is why women's rights are seen as the cause of our time.
Goodbye to marginalizing the rights of women and girls around the world
Hello to elevating the rights of women and girls around the world
Goodbye to silent voices mute on the topic of rape, beatings, slavery of women and girls
Hello to outraged voices on the topic of rape, beatings, slavery of women and girls
Goodbye to relinquishing goddess power
Hello to reclaiming goddess power