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Oprah Winfrey on women's rights Print E-mail

Tuesday, 18 October 2011 00:00

Written by Marcus Brooks

Oprah Winfrey grew up a poor, black girl facing all sorts of social disadvantages. Despite her early struggles, she became a worldwide, media mogul with an Emmy award winning show, a successful magazine and an established, acting career. 

She rose from poverty and racism to be a staunch supporter of Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. It all started with her emotional role in 1984's "The Color Purple". The cult classic put her in Hollywood's limelight. That notoriety attracted a talk host show who looked to produce another daytime show. Legend, Phil Donahue took Winfrey under his wing and created the "Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1986. After 22 years, she rose to the rank of cultural icon.

Winfrey represented the positives of giving women their rights. Her extensive humanitarian missions assisted residents after Hurricane Katrina and Rita. In her greatest achievement, she funded a construction for an AIDS hospice, children's orphanage and young woman's hostel in South Africa in 2006. Last year, she and her talk show staff traveled to black townships and shantytown to celebrate Christmas with them. She was Ms. Claus to over 50,000 South African children. For three weeks, Winfrey bestowed over $3 million dollars in gifts.

She, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates and his wife, coordinated efforts to eliminate Africa's poverty within five years. She visited with Nelson Mandela and discussed equality, education and medical treatment for black women. Over 33% of South Africa's black women are infected with HIV. Illiteracy affected over 70% of the native population.

Her social activism and fight for women's rights worldwide are well renowned. She did an interview with the late Benzair Bhutto. Bhutto was Pakistan's first, female prime minister. She increased her visibility in politics by endorsing Obama and accompanying him at this year's Iowa Caucuses. She ended up making two visits to the Hawkeye State. Both times, she and Obama got greeted by packed audiences.

She extended women's positive role in society by creating the "Dr. Phil" show. Counselor, Dr. Phillip McGraw lent his advice to at-risk families, newlyweds, couples and individuals; including celebrities. He assisted in counseling pop icon, Britney Spears, violent husbands, dysfunctional spouses and others.

She has two Emmy winning, talk shows and her O and Oprah magazines. Regardless of her success, Winfrey showed that a woman could have millions and a giving heart.


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