International Women’s Day 2023 - Inspirational women throughout history:
In light of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to come with a list of women who have been inspirations to us. Whether it be through their work or through their personal mantra, these women have undoubtably been a pinnacle of inspiration to thousands of women throughout the decades and all over the world.
Jacinda Ardern – Former Prime Minister of New Zealand:
The former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is the youngest person to become New Zealand’s Head of Government at the age of 37. With only 21% of global government ministers being women, Ardern’s dedicated and selfless approach to her work has certainly carved a pathway to open to the door to more women taking up these high-power positions. Her decisive leadership style, incredible responses to issues such as Covid-19 and the Greater Christchurch terrorist attack, and her empathetic and kind attitude to the role has certainly won the hearts of Kiwis and millions around the world.
Whilst Ardern’s approach to politics has been nothing short of amazing, her commitment to motherhood took the world by storm when she made history by becoming the first world leader to bring her baby – Neve - to the United Nations General Assembly just a few months after she was born – also making Neve the youngest person to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Ardern’s compassion for those living in difficult situations has definitely catapulted her career to become one of the most successful leaders in New Zealand’s history. As Prime Minister she has implemented a new cost of living payment to support more than two million families, an extension of the fuel tax cut, halved the cost of public transport, and made period products freely available across all school in New Zealand.
Sanna Marin – The Prime Minister of Finland.
When Sanna Marin became the Prime Minister of Finland she was 34 years old; the youngest person to ever hold that position in Finland and one of the youngest leaders in the world. Recently, a video of her dancing was leaked on social media and people were not happy. Marin received a lot of backlash from this video, but her response to the internet trolls was nothing short of excellent. Her rebuttal was: “I want to show that there are ordinary people with ordinary lives in these jobs. I have a family life, I have a work life and, I have free time that I spend with my friends, I’m pretty sure that’s the same of many people my age”.
Marin’s response hit back hard. As a great leader and a normal human being, she is allowed to have fun with her friends and family and can still do great things for her country. This expectation that people, particularly women, have to be perfect 100% of the time create an extremely toxic environment. The reality is no one is perfect, and more people should be measured on their achievements and not how they chose to relax.
Beyond her roles in blockbuster hits and independent films, Emma Watson has made a name for herself as a fierce advocate for human rights, feminism, literary, and environmental issues. Having spoken up about numerous issues infringing on the rights of millions around the world, her humanitarian work and promoting education for girls in Bangladesh and Zambia led to her being appointed the United Nation’s Women’s Goodwill Ambassador.
Watson’s social activism didn’t stop there. In 2014, Watson led the campaign He for She where she campaigned for the inclusion of men in the pursuit of equality and urged wealthy men to join in the conversation and advocate change for women everywhere.
Additionally, Watson is known for her advocacy for education and learning, encouraging those around her, old and young, to never stop learning. In 2016, she started a book club called “Our Shared Shelf” which focuses on women’s empowerment and has over 37,000 subscribers.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (commonly referred to AOC) has taken social media by storm in recent years for her political statements and activism for many injustices occurring throughout America.
In 2018, AOC was sworn into Congress. At age 29, AOC is the youngest person to ever be sworn into the United States Congress, as well as the first female member of the Democratic Socialists of America. With 28% of US House of Representatives being women, AOC social media spotlight, persistent activism for the better treatment of Americans, and charismatic personality is creating a gateway for other women to join her cause and evoke positive change across America.
Throughout her political career, AOC has used her social media presence in a way that has never been seen before in politics. From her witty statements to her playful banter, AOC bring light to some major issues taking place in America and isn’t afraid to stand her ground for the causes she believes in. Over the years, AOC has addressed the deplorable conditions migrant women were living in at detention centres at the US-Mexico border, the disproportional levels of homeless LQBTQIA+ youths and so many more injustices.
Malala Yousafzai is a household name throughout the world. In 2012, Malala was attacked by the Taliban after speaking out about education for girls when she was banned from attending school. For most people, this heinous attack would have had negative consequences, but for Malala, this was even more of a reason to insight change across the world.
After the attack, Yousafzai’s advocacy for education for women and children reached an international scale. From this, she was able to start up her charity Malala Fund, aimed at providing girls across the globe with an education.
Malala’s work evoked massive change throughout the world and continues to help fund girls through education in a variety of countries, including Pakistan. In 2014, Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, when she won the Nobel Peace Prize for the incredible work she has done.