In the last days before the Internationals Women’s Day of 2015, I will mention a few women to encourage you to read their fascinating contribution to the advancement of civilization.
I will not go far back, not beyond the 19th Century and name only four formidable ladies, who come to my mind, having made significant changes to the advancement of the whole of humanity. Today, let us remember:
Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910)
Florence Nightingale, the British lady, had a broad education and was appalled by the limitation of opportunity for females to work and to provide services to which women are better than men. She began to visit the poor, but became especially interested in looking after those who were ill. She visited hospitals in London and around the country to investigate possible occupations, in which women could make a difference.
However, nursing was seen as employment that needed neither study nor intelligence; nurses were considered to be little less than charwomen at that time. But with modern warfare using advanced armaments for the Crimean War (1853–1856); more soldier died in field hospitals than on the battlefield.
Nightingale saw that the disciplined and well-organised Nuns made better nurses than employed women… When in March 1854 the Crimean War broke out, Nightingale embarked for the Crimea on 21 October with thirty-eight nurses: ten Roman Catholic Nuns, eight Anglican Sisters of Mercy, six nurses from St. John’s Institute, and fourteen from various hospitals. Nightingale got the official title of, “Superintendent of the Female Nurses in the Hospitals in the East;” but she came to be known generally as: “The Lady-in-Chief.”
While Alfred Nobel had not yet invented his most devastating blasting invention, Dynamite, which was supposed to scare leaders of nations to desist from engaging in warfare, multiplied the carnage of warfare and the need of nursing care, which included civilian victims due to relentless bombings.
During the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Nightingale’s advice was sought by the respective governments. Nightingale was involved in establishing the East London Nursing Society (1868), the Workhouse Nursing Association and National Society for providing Trained Nurses for the Poor (1874) and the Queen’s Jubilee Nursing Institute (1890).
During the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 her advice was sought by the respective governments. Nightingale was involved in establishing the East London Nursing Society (1868), the Workhouse Nursing Association and National Society for providing Trained Nurses for the Poor (1874) and the Queen’s Jubilee Nursing Institute (1890).
She received the Order of Merit in 1907 and in 1908 she was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. She had already received the German order of the Cross of Merit and the French gold medal of Secours aux Blessés Militaires. On 10 May 1910 she was presented with the badge of honour of the Norwegian Red Cross Society. Nightingale died in South Street, Park Lane, London, on 13 August 1910 at the age of ninety.
Florence Nightingale, a giant of a women, needs to be remembered.