Women are pretty awesome and over the years certain woman have made pretty impressive changes to society, changing the world and inspiring other woman to take up a cause. These are a handful of the woman who changed society and woman who inspire me.
Malala Yousafazi // We would all agree that young people are entitled to an education, no matter where they are in the world and no matter what gender they are but how often do we take this right for granted? In some parts of the world it’s incredibly dangerous to educate your daughters and this is really where Malala’s story starts. Born in 1997 Malala and her father proudly and rightly chose to defy the Taliban – who believe woman shouldn’t be educated – campaigning for the rights of young women in Pakistan. Becoming incredibly vocal in the summer of 2012 the Taliban leaders met to discuss the young girl and they voted in support of killing her. In 2012 Malala became a household name when the Taliban shot her in the head on her way home from an exam. Boarding the bus on which the girls were travelling, the gunman simply asked who here is Malala? He then threatened to kill all the girls if the real one was not unmasked. Despite this incident Malala has continued to campaign for the rights of young women and now lives in Birmingham. She’s an inspiration to us all and her story provides a beacon of hope to the thousands of people suppressed by barbaric regimes. If you haven’t watched her speech to the UN, I highly suggest you to do.
Jacqueline Wilson // Growing up I loved Jacqueline Wilson books and I suspect these books help me cut my teeth as a reader. Wilson’s stories are far from traditional but I think that’s why they are so successful. Often surrounding subjects deemed to “mature” for a younger audience, her books revolve around real people, real life and real incidents and surely that’s only a good thing? They address serious societial issues such as adoption, drug abuse, mental health and divorce, equipping children with knowledge about these scenarios. Surely this makes them better prepared but also more tolerant of people with differences. Wilson’s books had a huge impact on me growing up and I still look for them in the bookstores.
Emmeline Pankhurst // Of course Emmeline Pankhurst was going to get a mention because arguably without her we may never have got the vote. Still to this day historians disagree about the role that her militant tactics had in the fight for women’s suffrage and the “deeds, not words” attitude of her WPSU certainly divided opinion. Yet her importance should not be underestimated because her voice was essential to the campaign.
Laura Bates // This woman has undoubtedly change the face of modern feminism and has really shone the spotlight on everyday sexism, making it an pressing issue which we have all talked about. It’s a big project and until we tackle institutional and casual sexism is irradiated it’s one that will continue to rear it’s head.
Who inspired you?