International Women’s Day—Celebrating Women Who Have Overcome Adversity

Woman feet on gravel walking forward toward a better future.

Women all around the world face adversity and have managed to persevere against all odds. In honor of International Women’s Day, this article will highlight some influential women who have overcome hardships in their past.

Oprah Winfrey

Headshot of Oprah Winfrey, successful woman who overcame cocaine use.

Oprah Winfrey is a successful talk show host, producer, and author, and famously uses her platform to help and inspire people around the world. She is viewed as one of the most influential women on television. Oprah admitted to dealing with cocaine use that was fueled by a negative relationship during one of her shows. Her drug use ended with that relationship, and she was able to regain control over her life.

Unhealthy or abusive relationships and drug use are very common themes for women in the justice system, and typically go hand in hand. Whether drugs are used to help cope with abusive relationships, or a partner is influencing drug use, there is hope for recovery and staying sober.

If you or someone you love are struggling with addiction, there are many resources available online to help.

Latoya Jackson

Headshot of Latoya Jackson, American singer who was able to move forward after facing domestic violence.

Latoya Jackson is an American singer and television personality. In 2013, she opened up about her past with domestic violence. She faced abuse from her ex-husband and eventually ended the marriage after seven years. She told the Huffington Post, “I want women to know that…you can live your life, you can regain and re-own yourself and be free and do whatever you want to do. You can start over as long and as many times as you want until you feel that you’ve gotten it right.”

Domestic violence leaves many women feeling trapped and alone; however, this is not the case. There are many women out there who share similar stories, and there are tons of resources available to help you seek the stability and support needed. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 by phone, text, or chat.

Anne Beiler

Headshot of Anne Beiler, founder of successful pretzel business despite education challenges.

Anne Beiler, creator of the famous Auntie Anne’s pretzels, was born to a family with eight children and never got the opportunity to graduate from high school or obtain a college degree. However, that did not stop her from finding her own way to success. She had baking skills and a dream, so she bought a vending stand in Pennsylvania to sell her pretzels. Now, her business is widely known and makes millions in sales every year. Though education is valuable, it is not always necessary to become successful. If you are interested in starting your own business, check out our Start a Business Page.


No matter your current circumstances, it is always possible to find a way out and start over. With grit and determination, you can take control over your life and accomplish anything. No matter what hardship you are facing, there is someone else out there going through something similar. You are never alone in your struggles, and fortunately there are many resources available to help.

Our mission at GEO Reentry Connect is to provide valuable resources and tools to assist individuals during their reentry journey. For women-specific healthcare, childcare, mental health, domestic violence, and housing support, visit our Women’s Reentry page.

Published On: March 5th, 2024|Categories: Support System Resources|

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