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14 Strong and Inspiring Women Who Break Gender Stereotypes

Female superheroes that break gender norms and transform what it means to be a woman.
IMAGE Alicia Keys | instagram.com/aliciakeys
  1. Megan Hine

Being a survival consultant isn’t on the top of most wanted jobs, and for good reason, Megan has to prepare for all sorts of danger which can be as terrifying as lions or extreme temperatures. 

  1. Chrissy Tiegen

Supermodel, wife, mom and now writer with 2 cookbooks, Chrissy is an all around superwoman we get glimpses of in her social media. With her recent post on her stretch marks, she reminds us and most importantly society, that we’re human in the best way possible.

  1. Balkissa Chaibou

You would be surprised to know that in other parts of the world, marrying girls at a young age is the norm. Balkissa is one of the few who declined marriage under very harsh circumstances to become a doctor. She’s the epitome of going after your dreams.

  1. Amna Suleiman

Can you imagine being prohibited to ride a bike? Amna’s culture dictates that a girl can no longer bike when she has reached puberty. And guess what she’s doing? She rides one anyway, along with a few other women that take a stand against this unwritten rule.

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  1. Naeema

Situate yourself in a place where being a woman with a stable job and car, is frowned upon. For Naeema, her car is an example of her hard work and says that being a single, successful woman is more than okay.

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  1. NeginKhpalwak

The formation of an all-female orchestra is a feat of bravery in a culture that prohibits even men to play music, Negin who leads the group shows courage even when her family could no longer support her and she had to live in an orphanage. 

  1. Miriam Defensor Santiago

Miriam’s shoes are hard to fill with her long list of academic achievements, but what we love about her most is her fierce personality, humor and compassion.

  1. Maminydjama Maymuru

Despite the almost impossible standards shown to women in media, Maminydjama is a model we can look up to for the confidence to be our true selves, color, shape and all.

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  1. Ibtihaj Muhammad

Being the first woman to enter the Olympics wearing a Hijab, we are starting to see that women despite religion or belief are given equal opportunity to enter. Ibtihaj is proof of this new trend that is developing.

  1. Reshma Qureshi

It’s heartbreaking to know that in other cultures, pouring acid on women is an easy feat to pull. Reshma who is victim to an acid attack is taking a stand to ban the sale of acid in stores, with a brave appearance at New York Fashion Week.

  1. Dame Evelyn Glennie

Dame is a multi-awarded full-time solo percussionist who plays a band of instruments; what makes her amazing is the fact that she’s deaf.Her music teaches us how to truly listen not just with our ears. Give this TED talk a watch.

  1. Winnie Harlow

Winnie makes it clear that she isn’t brave. As a top model with a unique skin condition, she lives life with confidence and is not limited by the labels created for her based on this.

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  1. Conchi Rios

Bull fighting is a sport lead by men; Conchi breaks the norm by being one of the few if not only female bullfighters of her time. It’s a challenging practice that has been banned but pushes to pursues it anyway.

  1. Alicia Keys

In this interview, she explains why being a girl is difficult with the pressures and ideals we are told to conform to. That’s why her recent announcement that she isn’t going to wear makeup is a stand that she doesn’t care what people think of her anymore. She tells us that we should find our own way of being comfortable with ourselves.

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About the author
Melanie Santiago
Intern, Contributing Writer
Frustrated painter and writer, Melanie also takes time to drop by candymag.com and share the stories she comes across.
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Kathreece Quizon 6 hours ago

Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves

Ry Fabella 7 hours ago

Hello! Sharing my first story in Wattpad!

TITLE: Whisper to the Stars AUTHOR: https://www.wattpad.com/user/withniji

GENRE: Teen Fiction/Romance STORY LINK: https://my.w.tt/Y3HeLPe9K7

Description: Ingrid Gianna "Gigi", a breadwinner of her family, has kept her feelings hidden for Hayme, her long time high school crush, because she has too much responsibilities in life; believing that she has no time for love. But, no matter how hard she tries to suppressed it for years, fate always finds its way....like it was already written in the stars.

COLLEGE SURVIVAL TIPS: IS BEING ALONE MEANS WEAKNESS OR STRENGTH, OR ELSE, MAYBE IT'S JUST YOUR OWN WAY TO SURVIVE.

College is a Matter of Survival. It is more on trusting and relying on YOURSELF, alone. College is not a race, it's like a journey, a journey of hardships, circumstances, and challenges that, to some extent, will push you to give up, so you must set your goals and take risks. College is far from being a junior or senior high school, so there's no more room for easy-going attitudes.

It is better to suffer now than to regret your actions in the future. I've learned these things and continue doing it right now. College made me realize that you'll meet temporary people in your life, some of them stay, but others not, they vanish, and soon you become strangers to them. It's okay to make friends, but you must know how to set your limitations with them. Also, don't forget to think wisely, there are some whose only seasonal friends. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you accompanied each other, and still, you have yourself. Being alone doesn't mean you avoid people coming into your life, it's just that, you know how to distance yourself from people you don't feel to get along with, and that's OKAY. The thing about college is, you'll meet different types of people who will help you to open up your mind to be more matured enough to the point that you will become more understanding rather than start an argument. There's nothing to be afraid of being alone, you just need to accept the facts and consequences.

Little by little, you will witness yourself develop from how much you've grown, and be grateful for that because you overcome those situations that trigger you to give up. I share these things with you that may be applicable to your upcoming college life and leaving this message to you. 'Don't hesitate to take risks to success, it will be paid off someday. Let God help you and do your very best.' #CollegeSurvival

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