By Christine “ECKO” Ho, Staff Writer

Chinese leader Wu Zetian

Leaders are aplenty in this world in both small and large ways. The most visible leaders have the titles of presidents, prime ministers, emperors, czars, kings, etc. All, or nearly all, have been men.

This article is to write about the female leaders that have paved the way for future women, and how they have made things easier for women. Even in this present day and age, women must climb further, work harder and be fiercer to gain recognition as a leader. Imagine how much harder it must have been for women of the past.

In the past, women leaders were scarcely recognized because of their “inferiority,” or because they were “weak.” However, there are some who made it onto the pages of legends. Mulan, the character for which the Disney character was named, was a woman who disguised herself as a man to join the army and was able to obtain victory for China. Another Chinese leader was Wu Zetian, a woman that was able to climb her way to the top as the only female Emperor of China, and was able to make many changes for the better for her people. She manipulated her own sons on and off the thrones, and her reign was prosperous.

Queen Elizabeth, or Elizabeth Tudor I, also reigned with power and wisdom. She oversaw the victory against the Spanish Armada, and ruthlessly executed her rival for the throne. She was pressured to marry for political reasons, but she refused and remained “The Virgin Queen” until the end of her days.

In America, there are many women who were the “firsts” and therefore have provided “the rest.” Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female justice. Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman to be sent into space. Dr. Antonia Novello was the first Hispanic and woman to become sworn in as the U.S. Surgeon General.

There are obviously many more women who have paved the future of women. They have all received recognition for being the first women to do these things, as they should for enabling a wider path for women.

I have purposely not written about the past leaders of our sorority because I believe that every sister who has already graduated was a leader in their chapter in their own way. The founders obviously started everything, laying down the bulk of the foundation for the rest of us to build upon. But build upon we have, and led the younger sisters to fill the shoes of the older sisters. It is also true, however, that some sisters have excelled in leadership overall, been excellent presidents and have helped their chapters flourish during their time. Some sisters do more work—some sisters have more leadership capability. But it is also true that these sisters would have no one to lead without other strong individuals to help them—at least in this sorority. Everyone who continues to work and continues to push and strive for a better chapter are all leaders.

Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. was established to develop, cultivate and multiply the amount of leaders on campus. In our own small ways, we take charge. A sister is always a leader to someone else in their eyes. Let us continue to pave the way for future generations and future women.

Picture Credit: http://www.chinaexpat.com/2009/06/11/wu-zetian-the-woman-who-became-emperor.html/