Ten Inspirational Women on International Women’s Day

Isobel Ridley

Posted on March 08 2020

1. Emma Watson

“Young girls are told you have to be a delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior.”

Best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise, Emma has become known more recently for her work campaigning for women’s rights. Launching the HeForShe campaign at the United Nations, Emma seeks to broaden awareness and acceptance of feminism particularly amongst the male population, extending a ‘formal invitation’ to men to participate in a conversation about gender equality.

2. Emmeline Pankhurst

“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.”

A true historical hero, Emmeline helped pave the way for the society we live in today where women can vote. A British political activist and organizer of the British Suffragette Movement, Emmeline noticed as she was growing up that women were treated differently to men and wanted to change that. Sadly she died just before women were granted the right to vote, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

3. Malala Yousafza

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

A true inspiration who became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala is a campaigner for girls’ education. Hailing originally from Pakistan, she was shot by the Taliban in 2012 when she was just 14 years old. However, since then she has worked to spread the message of the importance of education for women across the world.

4. Marie Curie

"I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done."

A two-time Nobel Peace Prize winner, Marie was a pioneering scientist who was unable to attend university in Poland because she was a woman. By moving to Paris to continue her education, Marie moved on to research into radioactivity and saved countless lives. A true testament to following your calling even if there appears to be limits or constraints.

5. Kris Hallenga

“I decided that my story needs to be told and we need to get young people thinking about breast cancer and thier boobs from a younger age.”

Receiving a terminal breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 23, Kris was initially told by a doctor that she was too young to get cancer. Despite this, Kris has been living with stage 4 terminal breast cancer since 2009 and is beating all odds to live through the disease. Kris devotes all of her time to spreading breast cancer awareness for young women and set up the charity CoppaFeel! which has led to thousands of young women being diagnosed early.

6. Michelle Obama

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”

Michelle’s days as the First Lady may be over, but her efforts are from it. Whilst wowing us during her husband Barack Obama’s 8 years as President, Michelle took on all kinds of work to benefit the people of the United States - and set an example on the world stage for how we can be kinder to others. As a trained lawyer and writer, Michelle drew on her experience and passion to become a role model for women the world over.

7. Amelia Earheart

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”

The story of Amelia Earhart is one of adventure and challenge. A pioneer for women’s rights, she was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross award - and being the first woman to receive it. Her message to other women was one of taking chances always; that women who create their own job and place in the world, despite male dominance in many areas of life, are the women that will be successful.

Munroe Bergdorf

“A woman can be whatever she identifies as - it doesn’t make her any less of a woman.”

British model and trans rights activist Munroe uses her platform in the best way - to highlight the voices of marginalised people. She shares important, informative content around feminism, race, and LGBTQ+ issues; helping educate society on these topics. She made history as the first trans woman to front L’Oreal Paris, as well as being the first trans woman to appear of Cosmopolitan.

9. Rosa Parks

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it’s right.”

A civil rights activist in the United States, Rosa became a household name when she refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This act sent shockwaves through the US at a time when so many were campaigning for equal rights, and the success of it launched nationwide efforts to end racial segregation on public facilities. A brave act for a woman in 1960s America and one that changed history.

10. Simone de Beauvoir

“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely.”

Best known for her work as a novelist, feminist thinker and writer, Simone de Beauvoir was a philosopher who had views that were considered progressive at the time but which we are familiar with today: equality for women and men, women being able to empower themselves and others, and awareness of the limitations for women in a male-dominated society. She thought a lot about the human struggle to be free and never allowed herself to be silenced.

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