Today’s Dame of the Day is Vicky Guzman (October 22, 1944-). After earning her medical degree in Mexico, Guzman returned to El Salvador to bring health services to underserved rural communities. In 1986, she founded ASAPROSAR, a non-profit organization committed to preventing diseases caused by poor sanitary conditions and increasing training for community health workers. Guzman continues to serve as the organization’s executive director while also running Habitat for Humanity’s El Salvador chapter.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Lakshmi Sahgal (October 24, 1914 – July 23, 2012). After obtaining her medical degree, Sahgal left her native India for Singapore, where she established a free clinic for migrant laborers. During her time abroad, Sahgal became involved with the India Independence League. She established a women’s regiment, marched to Burma, and was arrested by the British army. (She was released after one year.) After India’s independence in 1947, Captain Lakshmi continued to see patients at her medical practice until she was 92 years old.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Naziha al-Dulaimi (1923-2007). As a student, al-Dulaimi was one of a few women who studied medicine at Baghdad’s Royal College of Medicine. When the government transferred her to Kurdistan, al-Dulaimi wrote about her patients’ living conditions in a pamphlet called The Iraqi Woman. Later in her career, she founded the League for Defending Iraqi Woman’s Rights and became a leader in the country’s women’s rights movement.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Hayat Sindi. Sindi grew up in Saudi Arabia but relocated to England to attend medical school. Upon completing her Ph.D in biochemistry, she became the first Muslim woman to earn such a degree from Cambridge University and the first woman from any Arab state to complete a doctoral degree in the field. Today, she splits her time between Harvard University and traveling home to Jeddah; when she’s not conducting research or teaching, Sindi encourages other women from the Muslim world to study science.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Hawa Abdi (May 17, 1947-). Following her high school graduation, a scholarship from the Women’s Committee of the Soviet Union allowed her to study medicine. After she became a mother, Abdi practiced medicine during the day and studied for her law degree at night. Today, Abdi puts both her credentials to use as founder of the Rural Health Development Organization and the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation. These organizations offer free and low-cost medical care to Somalian women and children.