Let’s hear it for women!

Sally Armstrong is an amazing human being. A teacher, journalist and human rights activist, she’s also one of the founding editors of Canadian Living, and we were so lucky to have her here – she is a good journalist. But her real strength? Her stories. She is an amazing story teller, bigger than life, and I could listen to her tell stories forever.

Her list of accomplishments is impressive. She’s a three-time Amnesty International award winner and was a member of the International Women’s Commission at the UN. Sally has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world (from Bosnia and Somalia to Rwanda and Afghanistan) and her eyewitness reports have earned her awards, including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards foundation.

She’s the recipient of seven honorary doctorate degrees and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Sally Armstrong is already a superstar. And now, this, Ascent of Women (Random House Canada, 2013)

She has authored other books, of course, but this one is different. It’s about women having control over their own bodies, whether they are in conflict zones, in rural villages or even just in their own kitchens at home. In fact, recent studies suggest that women with this control, who are empowered and not oppressed, are the key to economic justice and the end to violence in developing countries.

The book is filled with inspiring stories of such women, examining the bravery of women living in mud-brick houses in Afghanistan, in the forest of the Congo, where women still hide from their attackers and in a shelter in northern Kenya, where 160 girls between three and 17 are pursuing a historic court case against a government that did not protect them from rape.

Women, from Nairobi to New York, are making history. They are marching to protest honour killings, polygamy, stoning and other acts of violence. And Sally brings us these stories, remarkable stories of worldwide change.

Women all over the world are standing up for their rights. This book is a testament to their lives, their courage, their inspiration. The very least we can do is read their stories and be witness to their struggles.

How about you? Do you know any inspiring women?