7 women that every student should celebrate
This International Women’s Day (8th March), it’s important to celebrate some of the world’s most inspiring individuals throughout history. There are plenty of names that the majority of us are well aware of, such as Rosa Parks, Princess Diana, Florence Nightingale and Maya Angelou. These women have sadly all passed away now, but there are many others who are thankfully still with us, following in their footsteps to fight for a better society. We’d be here forever if I named them all, so here’s a small selection of the many inspirational women who are making their mark…
The pain of losing your classmates to a mass school shooting is all too often a reality in the USA. Watching from afar, most of us mourn for a while, then we move on… until the next time. But Emma Gonzalez and her friends were unable to do that. When she survived the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Emma became an activist, speaking out against gun violence and advocating for safety.
It seems almost impossible to believe, but it wasn’t actually illegal to take photos up a woman’s skirt in the UK until 2019. Yup, let that sink in for a moment. After she fell victim to this disgusting practice, Gina worked relentlessly to get the laws changed, and her campaigning paid off. Her message? Anyone can be an activist, if they believe in their cause.
It doesn’t matter where you sit on the political spectrum, seeing an MP like Mhairi is refreshing. As a member of the LGBT+ community and the youngest member of the House of Commons in the UK, she regularly speaks out for the rights of everyone, particularly groups that are so often ignored by what she calls the old boys’ club of politics. Her rants in Parliament are real and don’t beat around the bush!
Also joining the new political wave, this time over in the States, is Bronx-born politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her entire platform is based upon social, economic and racial justice, all huge issues in 2019. Opponents tried to take her down by posting a video of her dancing while at university, but unsurprisingly, it just made her even more ‘real’ and likeable!
As the founder of the Everyday Sexism project, Laura is a massive believer in gender equality. In the pre-#metoo era, it was difficult to get people to believe women and girls who complained about sexism (and still is in many cases). So, this eye-opening project documented different examples of sexism – from the minor to the extreme – with the hope of laying it bare.
Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012 in her home country of Pakistan, all for daring to get an education - which many girls still cannot access around the world. Now, the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate calls herself both a feminist and an activist, campaigning for the rights of women and girls – all while studying at Oxford!
Singer Ariana Grande has been through a lot in her short life, and she’s handled it with maturity and grace, especially considering her age. When she was just 23 years old, a terror attack killed 22 people at her Manchester Arena show, many of whom were just children. Shortly after the attack, Ariana returned to the city to raise money for the victims. Since then, she’s dealt with the tragic loss of her ex-boyfriend, and an assault live on TV. While she soldiers on with dignity (and, let’s face it, talent), she’s often scrutinised extensively.
There are so many other women we could include on this list (Michelle Obama, Jacinda Ardern, Nadia Murad, Stacey Dooley to name a few), but we’d be here all day. So, for now, let’s be inspired by the abilities, activism and aptitude that these seven have demonstrated. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and stand up for what’s right.
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