International Women’s Day was born in the midst of The Women’s Right Movement in the 1900’s. When it was first founded only a handful of countries participated, now it has grown into a global wide celebration! On March 8th we celebrate woman across the world that have take great strides for women’s rights.
To celebrate I’ve compiled a list of 5 women, still alive today, that I find inspirational. Whether it was protesting for education equality or writing Emmy Award winning scripts, these 5 ladies are a true inspiration and they make me proud to be a part of such a great time in history!
1.) Malala Yousafzai
At the age of 11 Malala became an activist for women’s rights when she started blogging, under an anonymous name, for the BBC about life under the Taliban regime. Her identity was later revealed and she became world renowned when she stood up to the Taliban in Pakistan and commanded that girls receive an education.
As a result, at the age of 15, the Taliban issued a death threat and was subsequently shot in the head while traveling to school. She survived and made a full recovery. After the attempted assassination, at the age of 16, she gave a speech to the United Nations. At the age of 17, she became the worlds youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner.
2. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 27th president of Liberia and is the first female in Africa to be elected head of state. She was the first of three women to be awarded the nobel peace prize “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
3. Tina Fey
Tina Fey came to fame during her stint on Saturday Night Live. After several years Fey became SNL’s first female head writer in the history of the 40 year old show.
After SNL, Fey went on to create, the Emmy Award Winning TV Series, 30 Rock. Which, was loosely based about her experience behind the scenes on SNL. Fey wrote an autobiography called Bossy Pants which topped the New York Times Best Seller list for 5 consecutive weeks.
4. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is a tv show host, actor, producer, and well know philanthropist. Oprah has been dubbed “The Queen of All Media” Winfrey had a less than favorable start in life. She grew up in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi. After being abused by several male relatives and a few of her mothers friends, Winfrey moved to Nashville to live with her dad.
Despite her early life, Oprah Winfrey ended up being one of the most celebrated TV Hosts in American history and created a network empire from the ground up. Forbes proclaimed Oprah the richest African American of the 20th century and she was the worlds only black billionaire for 3 years. Oprah has used her prominant platform to raise money for a variety of charities. Oprah’s Angel Network raised 51 million dollars for various charities and in 2005 Business Week named her the greatest black philanthropist in American history.
5. JK Rowling
When JK Rowling first started writing the first book of the Harry Potter series, she was a single mother living on state benefits. Within a matter of five years she went from relying on government money to being a multimillionaire. Her books sold over 400 million copies.
She’s currently the first billionaire to make her sole fortune from writing books. She’s used her fortune to better the lives of others through a multitude of charity works. Including a non-profit called Gingerbread that helps empower single parent families by providing childcare along with education and job opportunities.
We’re just beginning 2015, reflect on all the progress we’ve made so far and get excited about all the progress we’ll witness as the year unfolds. Who knows, maybe by 2016 the U.S. will elect it’s first woman president or maybe we’ll have the first woman administer of Nasa!
We’ve come so far – anything is possible! Tell us in the comments what women you find inspiring!