19 Fierce Women You Should Know About
There is no denying that being a woman can sometimes be difficult, which is why it is always useful to have a few female role models that you can turn to in times of need. From politics to television, here are 20 fierce and empowering women that will no doubt inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
You have likely already heard of Malala Yousafzai, as this brave female was the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Wondering what she did to win it?
In 2012, Malala’s life was threatened when she was shot by a member of the Taliban. However, Malala survived the attack, and has since then become a fearless activist for women, speaking up against the Taliban regime.
The teenager set up Malala’s Fund, in order to help children go to school, and has also penned a successful autobiography, which has sold almost 2 million copies worldwide.
While Emma Watson may always remind you of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, the feminist actress has become so much more than that in recent years.
As Watson’s popularity began to grow, the actress started using that to do some good in the world…
Being a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Watson is devoted to feminism, and has long since campaigned for gender equality. She is also an advocate of sustainable fashion, understanding the importance of supporting and nurturing the environment around us.
Oprah Winfrey does not need much of an introduction, as she has become a household name over the years.
It is difficult to list every single reason as to why she is such an inspiring woman, but here are a few:
- The Oprah Winfrey Book Club created millions of new readers all over the world
- Oprah has co-authored five books
- The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls educates young women in South Africa
- Oprah is one of the few black billionaires in North America
- Has been featured ten times as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Whether you love her or hate her, there is no denying that Hillary Clinton has had a huge impact on the world.
Although she lost the presidential elections, the fact that she tried so hard has inspired thousands of women all over the country to consider running for office, which is quite a feat in itself.
While singers have been belting out tunes about female empowerment for so many years now, Beyonce’s music seems to really affect so many women, actually making them feel empowered.
Not only is Beyonce a hugely successful music artist, with multiple awards behind her, but she also has acting skills too, starring in everything from Dreamgirls to Cadillac.
To top it all off…
Beyonce is extremely generous too, and has given so much to various charities and good causes over the years. She also publicly stands up for causes that she believes in, such as when she promoted the Black Lives Matter movement during her half time show at the Super Bowl.
You may not have heard of Patty Jenkins, but chances are that you have heard of Wonder Woman, the first successful superhero movie that featured a female lead character. The movie quickly broke records all over the world, and is now the highest grossing domestic superhero movie ever, as well as the highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman.
Yes, you guessed it…
Patty Jenkins was the director of Wonder Woman, and has really paved the way for more female-oriented superhero films in the future, not only starring women, but also directed by them.
Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic heptathlon champion, who many believed, due to her height, would not get very far. However, after winning numerous world titles and medals, Ennis-Hill has really exceeded expectations, and is such a positive role model for young girls today.
Ennis-Hill has always been honest about how much hard work she has put into her sport, as well as the way in which having a baby has impacted her training regime.
Although Ennis-Hill almost called it quits, right before her 2015 comeback, she stood strong and really made her mark on the world, before announcing her retirement in October that year.
Just like Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart first made a name for herself playing a teenager in a movie, in this case, Twilight.
However, it did not take long for Stewart to break out of the box that the media wanted to place her in, allowing her sassiness, personality and beliefs to lead the way.
Here are just a few of Stewart’s achievements in recent years:
- Has won many awards, including being the first American actress to win a Cesar for Best Supporting Actress
- Heavily campaigns for LGBT issues
- Hits back at politicians, such as Donald Trump, for derogatory comments towards women
- An ambassador for Chanel
The former First Lady of the United States made a name for herself for a number of reasons, one of which was the fact that she was the first black woman to become First Lady.
Michelle Obama quickly became just as recognizable, and loved, as her husband, and has not only inspired women all over the world through the passionate speeches that she has given, but also because of her devotion as a mother. So many are calling for her to run for president in 2020, but only time will tell whether or not she actually does so.
Of course, Michelle Obama’s fashion legacy is not to be forgotten…
The former First Lady has helped to propel many designer to fame and fortune, thanks to her fashion choices.
The media is dominated by ultra-thin models, meaning that young girls grow up with a very distorted perspective on body image.
However, this is something that plus-sized model Ashley Graham is trying her best to change…
To begin with, Graham made history by being the first plus-sized model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, while also featuring in other notable magazines, from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar.
Graham understands how important it is for young girls to have a positive body image, and travels to schools around the world advocating for this.
Just about everyone would agree that JK Rowling has been one of the most inspirational and influential writers of this generation, making it no surprise that she is a best-selling author.
Her very first Harry Potter novel took her seven years to write, and she was even asked to change her name when publishing the book, as the publishers did not believe that a fantasy book written by a woman would appeal to the masses.
So was Rowling, but she stood strong and used her own name, to huge success.
Rowling has been through a time of poverty, making her story quite the rags to riches tale. Voted as the most influential woman in Britain in 2010, Rowling has continued to inspire women, as well as men, all around the world.
In 2008, Sheryl Sandberg was appointed the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, and became the first woman on the company’s Board of Directors.
If that was not impressive enough, Sandberg has a whole host of academic qualifications from Harvard behind her, as well as some worthy jobs on her resume, such as at the U.S Department of Treasury, and Google too.
What makes Sandberg truly inspirational is the fact that she advocates for females in leadership positions, and has even penned a book, and started an organization, based on this.
Famous for being the best tennis player of all time, as well as the best American athlete, Serena Williams is definitely a woman to look up to.
Tennis is a sport that is dominated by affluent, white players, and Williams faced so much criticism for her race. However, the African-American athlete rose above this, not only in the actual game but also with her numerous brand endorsements and her very own clothing line.
Williams is also a woman who gives back to society, starting her own foundation and building a school in Africa for underprivileged children.
Over the years, Angelina Jolie has transformed in front of our eyes…
Starting off as a rebellious bad-girl actress, Jolie then moved on to become a writer and producer, as well as a mother and an activist.
It is her activism that is most inspiring, with some of her standout moments including:
- Travelling to over 20 different countries to meet with, and help, refugees and victims of displacement
- Establishing the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty
- Donating over $1 million to Doctors Without Borders
- Being the Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR
- Promoting humanitarian causes on a political level
An American actress that rose to fame in 2012 for her role in ABC drama Scandal, Kerry Washington has been nominated for several awards since then. From a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series to a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series, Washington’s acting skills are definitely top-class.
Washington also strives to bring awareness to violence against women, and is a member of V-Day, a global movement that supports this.
Unlike many other celebrities of her time, Washington knows how to separate her private and professional life. An alternative role model for younger women, Washington is the essence of an empowered woman.
In 2005, Angela Merkel became the chancellor of Germany, which is the fourth largest economy in the world. This made Merkel not only the most powerful person in Europe, but also the most powerful woman in the world.
Merkel took Germany’s economy and led it through some seriously tough times, and has shown great compassion on many occasions.
While there are many that may disagree with the way in which she does things, Merkel’s sense of humanity is something that will be a huge part of her legacy.
One of the first major female comedians to make it big in the world, Ellen Degeneres is also one of the first lesbian comedians to experience success in the USA.
Advocating for LGBT rights has always been important to Degeneres, and the comedian is also known for the work that she does for animal rights.
While she may be known for being George Clooney’s wife, Amal Clooney is so much more than that…
Law has always been her passion, and she has specialized in everything from international law to criminal law.
Clooney has also contributed to the Global Rights Summit that focused on ending sexual violence in war zones, while advocating for female rights in those same areas.
Susan Wojcicki is a name that not many people are familiar with…
But everyone is familiar with YouTube, and Wojcicki is the CEO of this.
Being a mother as well, Wojcicki has really had to learn how to balance her personal and professional life, but still ensures that her family are always her top priority.
In between running a business and managing a family, Wojcicki also serves as a board member for Room to Read.
Wondering what this is?
It is a global literacy charity that works with people all over the world, giving them the education that they need to empower themselves.