As part of our blog series, Sonder Stories, we share the stories of people who have made a significant impact on the world as we know it today. Despite their failures and misgivings, they persevered and fought for what they believed in. By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire those looking to make positive change and progress in their own lives.
On 12th July 2013, Malala Yousafzai, delivered an impassioned speech to the UN on the need for gender equality in education. The speech made such an impact, the UN declared the date to be recognised as Malala Day. On the flip side, her influence posed a threat to the Taliban who retaliated with a shot to her head. After her miraculous survival, she went on to be the youngest ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mikhail Gorbachev played a key role in dismantling the Communist grip on power in both the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. His aspirations for democracy and reform opened up the way for the end of the Cold War and the bringing down of the Berlin Wall. He was removed from Presidential office in 1991, during a failed coup attempt. Since leaving office, Gorbachev has worked tirelessly promoting new efforts at social justice and concern for the environment through his own organization, the Green Cross.
Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1990
Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) was a South African political activist who spent over 20 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid regime; he was released in 1990. In 1994, Mandela was later elected the first leader of a democratic South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with F.W. de Klerk) in 1993 for his work in helping to end racial segregation in South Africa. He is considered the father of a democratic South Africa and widely admired for his ability to bring together a nation, previously divided by apartheid. Nelson Mandela is one of the most admired political leaders of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century for his vision to forgive and forge a new ‘rainbow’ nation.
In 1986, she became the first woman to be designated a Senior Advocate by the High Court of Bombay. She is an Indian lawyer noted for her legal activism in promoting human right causes. Jaising argued several cases relating to discrimination against women, including one of the first cases of sexual harassment to be successfully prosecuted. She was given the Padma Shree by the President of India in 2005 for her service to the cause of public affairs. In 2018 she was ranked 20th in the list of 50 Greatest Leaders of the World by Fortune magazine.
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