10 Inspiring Women You May Have Missed
Let’s face it, women are badass – but so often go unrecognised for their incredible contributions to society. This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating the achievements of these ten fantastic females who’ve made mega changes, but you (probably) don’t know.
If she is scared, she’s doing it anyway, and this alone is inspiring other young people just like her. 18-year-old Jazz knew she was born into the wrong body since she was five years old, and ever since, has been trying to be her authentic self. Along the way she’s been racking up interviews, awards, a reality TV show and even a doll based on her! She’s a true trans pioneer. New goal: be more Jazz!
“Do you like yourself if no one is liking your social media posts?” asks 23-year-old award-winning writer and activist Chidera Eggerue, AKA The Slumflower. One of the most outspoken voices on self love, feminism and identity, she encourages women – and especially black women – to realise their worth. She’s redefining beauty standards with her viral campaign #saggyboobsmatter and explores how to be happy single in her book ‘What a Time to be Alone’.
This Swedish climate change activist is certainly rewriting the rulebook! At the age of eight, Greta realised governments need to be doing more to prevent global warming. Since then, she’s become a prominent figure for encouraging other young people to take action around climate change. She’s even addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and done a TED talk. It goes to show, you’re never too young to fight for what you believe in.
Coming to the UK as a refugee, Ali struggled to adjust and found relief in boxing. Unfortunately, her family were so worried about what their community would think of this that Ali kept her training – and even competing in national boxing on the TV – a secret. Now, as the first Muslim woman to win an English boxing title, her parents are finally proud of her. She’s living proof that despite it all, you really can achieve your dreams if you set your mind to it!
Rebellion can happen in large, or small-scale acts. In 1955, in the racially-divided deep south of America, this brave 15 year old refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Under the unjust laws at the time, she was arrested. Most people have heard of Rosa Parks, who did the same thing later that year, but few remember the courageous teenager who stood up (or sat down) for what she believed in.
It only takes one person to make change happen, as 29-year-old politician and activist Alexandria proved last year when she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. Letting the world into the hidden workings of the US government via Instagram Stories, she’s a new kind of politician, dedicated to openness and staying in touch with the people she represents.
You probably know that Steve Jobs founded Apple, but a lesser known figure is Susan Kare, one of the few women in tech in the 1980s. She worked alongside him designing some of the company’s most iconic, well, icons.
The Command Key and Trash Can are just a few of her innovations, as well as several of Facebook’s gift icons and the PhotoShop Lasso Tool. She changed the field of design for women, discovering how many different ways you can answer a question and make a success of it.
This multiple-award-winning Paralympian could have let illness ruin her dreams – but she kept on fighting! Kadeena was winning medals at major athletics championships when in 2014 she was hospitalised having suffered a stroke. This was followed by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Remarkably, within two months she was back to training.
Two years later, she was at the Paralympics, competing in both athletics and cycling, winning gold and even setting a new world record. Talk about working for your dream!
Doctor Sara Khurram
After Doctor Sara got married, she thought she would have to give up her beloved career as a medical professional due to social norms in her native Pakistan. But through research she realised three-quarters of Pakistani medical practitioners were women in the same position.
She founded two telemedicine companies, DoctHers and Sehat Kahani, linking up stay-at-home doctor-mums with women in rural areas who couldn’t access healthcare. She saw the challenge, and found a solution that’s changed thousands of lives.
Still in her early twenties and an actual rocket scientist, Tiera works with NASA developing the fastest, largest rocket ever made that will one day send people to Mars.
“You have to look forward to your dream and you can’t let anybody get in the way of it,” she said. “No matter how tough it may be, no matter how many tears you might cry, you have to keep pushing. And you have to understand that nothing comes easy. Keeping your eyes on the prize, you can succeed.”