6 Inspirational Women for International Women’s Day

Our community honors and respects women from every culture, age, race and religion. As Waris Drier once said, “Every day, women move mountains.” While it is important to acknowledge the influence of strong women regularly, with International Women’s Day fast approaching, we would like to take this time to shine the light on some amazing women who are moving mountains daily.

Malala Yousafzai, Female Education Activist

Malala Yousafzai is a remarkable young woman who stood up against the Taliban and won. She faced death in the eye and became a stronger woman. She is the youngest person to ever be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Malala continues to advocate for female education and serves as a voice for women all over the world. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all!

Malala Yousafzai Quote

Wangari Maathai, Political & Environmental Activist

Wangari Maathai has a long lasting legacy not only for women everywhere, but the world as a whole. In 2004 Wangari became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in “sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Having served as a member of the Kenya Parliament and as the President of the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council, Wangari is truly a symbol of empowerment and female leadership.

Wangari Maathai Quote

Maryam Rajavi, President, National Council of Resistance – Iran

For International Women’s Day 2013, Maryam Rajavi released her Ten-Point Plan for gender equality in Iran. This plan denounces all forms of sexual violence including sex trafficking, equal rights for women (including the right to choose their spouse) and many more liberations. Her efforts continue to provide equality for many oppressed women in Iran. Click here to learn more about the Ten-Point Plan.

Maryam Rajavi Quote

Waris Dirie, Model & Human Rights Activist

Waris Dirie was born in Somalia and escaped at the age of 13 from an arranged marriage. Prior to her running away, she fell victim to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Her courage to flee led her to London, England where she pursued a successful modeling career. In 1997, Waris ended her modeling career to focus all of her energy toward ending the painful and degrading act of FGM around the world.

Waris Dirie Quote

Benazir Bhutto, First Woman to Head a Muslim State

Benazir Bhutto served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan and was a strong advocate of democracy. For her Western ideologies, Benazir was a target of extremists. Although she met great opposition in her life, “The Iron Lady” refused to dim her light. Benazir’s strong beliefs led to her political assassination in 2007.

Benazir Bhutto

Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson – Natl. League for Democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi spent 15 years of her life under house arrest as ordered by the Burmese government. However, Aung San approached her circumstances with a non-violent and peaceful approach. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for  her efforts to promote human rights and democracy. It was not until 2012 that Aung San was free to deliver her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Aung San Suu Kyi


We hope you are as inspired by these women as we are!  Leave a comment below about the women that inspire you the most!

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About the Author | Kelly McNelis

Kelly McNelis is the founder of global community, Women for One, a speaker, coach, facilitator, and bestselling author of Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman. With more than 25 years of experience as a nonprofit and small-business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle.

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