🕤 5 min read
Who run the world? GIRLS! International Women’s Day is here and while we think women should be celebrated every day of the year, the importance of this special day goes far beyond what we know it as now. We have come a long way since the first IWD gathering way back in 1911, but there is still so much more that needs to be done to achieve gender equality across the globe, so let’s keep talking about how amazing we ladies really are!
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have put together a list of some of our favourite inspirational gals. The women we looked up to as little girls, the ladies who showed us we can do anything if we put our mind to it, the gals that tirelessly drive change, help others, and give us strength. So, read on, feel inspired and who knows, perhaps your name could pop up on this list one day!
1. Emmeline Pankhurst
I can’t think of a better person to start off this list. Without this exceptional lady, it is entirely possible that International Women’s Day would not exist today. Pankhurst founded the Women's Franchise League, fighting to allow married women to vote in local elections. She later formed the Women's Social and Political Union, with the members becoming the very first ‘suffragettes’.
Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested multiple times during her 40-year fight for equal voting rights. It wasn’t until 1928, just weeks before her death, that the law finally passed, and women had the same voting rights as men. This immense accomplishment has enabled women today to have their say and we couldn’t thank her enough.
2. Jameela Jamil
A modern-day inspirational woman, Jameela Jamil has made an incredible impact on the lives of young women today. She is the best friend and older sister we all wished we had. While she is known for being a stunning actress and TV presenter, to many of us, she is a fearless activist helping women embrace their bodies and natural beauty and supporting incredible charities.
From launching an events company dedicated to providing accessible, live entertainment for people with disabilities to creating a safe haven on social media called I Weigh, Jamil constantly strives to make the world a more accepting place.
3. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou has left a legacy that will never be forgotten. She was Hollywood’s first female black director, a talented singer, dancer, actress, composer, writer, playwright, essayist, editor, poet, civil rights activist, and professor…quite the resume! But it wasn’t just her incredible talent, creativity, and drive that earned her a place on every inspirational women’s list, she experienced more than her fair share of struggles in her life but like a true warrior, she used her experiences to raise awareness, drive change and make the world a better place.
Deservedly, Angelou was awarded over 50 honorary degrees before her death, being recognised as one of the most influential and exceptional women of the century. But also, she is the lady who inspired me and many others to write their very first poem, to open their mind to the views and lives of others and show us the ugly, the beautiful, and the magical in this world.
4. Audrey Hepburn
We all know her from the classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday, we know that her wardrobe was immaculate, and her eyes stole the hearts of men and women across the globe. But while many people still look to Hepburn for fashion inspiration and silver screen entertainment, many of us are unaware of the hardships she faced and her generous, brave, and kind-hearted nature.
Did you know that as a child, Audrey Hepburn was a WWll Resistance spy? During this time, her family became so poor they were unable to source food. This led to Audrey becoming severely malnourished making an everlasting impact on her weight and health. Despite this, she continued to put others first, volunteering for charities and helping underprivileged children across the globe, right through to her final days.
5. Kamala Harris
While in recent years Kamala Harris may have received negative publicity (welcome to politics), there is no denying that her drive and work has been nothing but immensely inspiring. Coming from an underprivileged background, she has gone on to become not only the first female Vice President but also the first black and Asian American Vice President.
She has been bravely vocal about her views to see the USA without the death penalty and fought to introduce a bill allowing same-sex marriage. She is an inspiration to millions around the world and we can all learn something from this amazing woman. Speaking to my best friend in Florida, she told me, “Her representation matters and is so important to women, minorities and progressive change”.
6. Greta Thunberg
This lady has achieved more in her 19 years than most have in a lifetime. She gained the attention of the world at the young age of fifteen, addressing climate change, campaigning for environmental transformation, and inspiring both youths and adults to lead a more environmentally conscious life.
Thunberg is proof that whatever your age or gender, with the right attitude, drive and passion, anyone really can change the world.
7. Alicia Keys
There isn’t a day that goes by in the office where our Faye doesn’t request an Alicia Keys song, but there is much more about this fascinating woman than her beautiful music. The Queen of R&B is a passionate philanthropist and activist, with her list of charitable work being as extensive as her music career.
From dedicating her time to helping families affected by HIV and AIDS to partaking in fundraisers and charitable events, Keys has helped thousands and inspired millions across the globe. Even her personal commitments, such as eliminating makeup from her life has encouraged other women to love themselves in their own skin.
The lady who spoke the famous words “Mom, I am a rich man.’ when her mother told her to settle down and marry a rich man. She is the definition of female strength and power. A true inspiration, the list of Cher’s philanthropic endeavours are overwhelming, as she dedicates her life to the LGBT community, AIDS research, helping underprivileged children and even politics.
There are so many amazing women in this world, I found it incredibly difficult not to write an essay here. So, here are a few more women who I would have loved to include in this post… Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank and Virginia Woolf, the world is a better place for having these ladies live in it. Take a look at our Pinterest board for Inspirational women and be inspired and moved!
P.S. I totally didn’t tear up while researching and writing about these incredible women.