As society begins to recognize the accomplishments of overlooked women throughout history, many outlets have also begun to acknowledge the achievements of regular women. Thankful, for example, will soon debut its new website, Womenpedia, a digital platform that elevates the powerful stories of women from all backgrounds. Slated to launch the second week of November, the Wikipedia-esque online hub will document inspirational stories of “ordinary” women doing extraordinary things.
Born with Thankful’s mission to unify men and women in their recognition of the value women bring to their communities, both locally and globally, Womenpedia comes as an extension of the Thankful for Women & Girls movement. From rural farm workers, to stay-at-home mothers, to female business moguls, Womenpedia operates under the belief that no woman’s contribution should be left unnoticed. Through keeping anthropological records of women’s contributions from around the world, Womenpedia aims to serve and educate future generations about women’s achievements over the years from all walks of life.
“There are so many incredible women in the world who do extraordinary things everyday that impact the lives of those around them,” Kim McDonnell, co-founder of Thankful, tells A Plus. “Womenpedia is a platform to ensure that the contribution of women across the globe is recognized and the impact they have on their families, their community and society will be captured, documented and told.”
“Recently, we had the great honor of meeting 103-years-young Rose Gebell,” McDonnell adds. “Rose shared her story with us from attending university at night school in the 1930s to get her degree in education, followed by her master’s in education when she was 50 years old. Rose taught elementary school for over 30 years, volunteered at local hospitals and organizations, and was — and continues to be — a trailblazer for the women that followed her. Rose is a wonderful example of how one woman can impact the lives of many.”
According to McDonnell, Womenpedia will capture the profiles of all women across the globe — from the caregivers and the scientists, to the entrepreneurs and the well-known, successful women everyone admires. After all, these women impact the lives of many, rewriting the history books, yet their stories have gone largely untold. Womenpedia believes these stories are worth telling and sharing, as they provide inspiration to the generations that follow.
“An example of this is Samira Harnish, dounder of Women of the World,” McDonnell notes. “Samira gave up her corporate job to extend her family. She is a counselor, teacher, and friend to over 1,000 refugee women in Utah. Her kindness and generosity provide inspiration and hope. She’s an extraordinary women whose actions will impact not just this generation, but generations to follow.”
“Samira’s work is a wonderful reminder that every woman has the power to create change, and even though societal structures around the world have created blockages for women, women from all walks of life continue to knock them down through their contributions in their households, schools, communities, churches, businesses, and offices of government,” she adds. “Women continue to pioneer social change, despite the little (to no) recognition they’ve historically received for it.”
As McDonnell notes, now’s the perfect time to launch Womenpedia, as there’s currently a spotlight on the historical and present challenges women face. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have effectively united women across the globe, giving them a solidified voice that’s louder than we’ve ever heard before, she explains. “History is being rewritten — and it’s being rewritten by ‘everyday’ women who are courageously taking a stand and demanding equality, opportunity and justice, regardless of their gender,” McDonnell adds.
“Womenpedia intends to identify and acknowledge the stories of these everyday women doing extraordinary things and we will be acknowledging the value and contribution of women to the world,” McDonnell says. “Through this recognition, there will be a greater appreciation and value of women. We will encourage both men and women to join this conversation [by] identifying and acknowledging a woman in their life that they are thankful for.”
“So many incredible women don’t receive the recognition for their success or their valuable contribution to society,” she added. “Womenpedia will capture these stories and shine a light on women who are helping to change the world. Because of the success of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, there are more women than ever who are realizing their potential, their power, and their ability to help pave the way for the generations that follow. We are rewriting history and we need to ensure the stories of these everyday heroes are captured, and their contribution acknowledged and forever recorded.”
Thankful’s overall mission remains to create a healthier, happier world by encouraging people to recognize all that’s good in their life. In a world that’s divided by conversations of “us and them,” where horrible acts of violence destroy lives, and where economic gloom and doom looms daily, everyone needs to be reminded that there’s more good than bad in this world. Womenpedia hopes to help in this effort by focusing on the positive things in our lives and being thankful for what we can control. “Identifying, acknowledging, and sharing a story of a woman we are thankful for, is an inclusive conversation that we can all participate in,” McDonnell notes. “We can all be Thankful for Women.”
Over time, Womenpedia will become an evolving anthropological record of women’s roles and contributions to the world, so McDonnell and her team encourage people to share the story of incredible women doing extraordinary things, as it’s time to give credit where credit’s due. Womenpedia will grow exponentially if everyone shares stories about a woman in their life for whom they are thankful.
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