7 Women Who Have Inspired Us in Honor of International Women’s Day

March 8 marks the 106th annual International Women’s Day, a wonderful opportunity to applaud some amazing accomplishments, successes and triumphs, all a testament to the incredible progress women are making right now.

Here are just seven of the women who have made major strides over the past year and who can inspire all of us.

1. Malala Yousafzai (pictured above)

One of my favorite embodiments of female heroism can be seen through the actions of education activist Malala Yousafzai.  This courageous teenage activist, an outspoken advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan, survived a gunshot to the head for speaking out for her beliefs, but in spite of incredible obstacles like this near-death experience, she keeps on fighting. “I want every girl, every child, to be educated,” she has stated.

The world needs the strong voices of young people like Malala if we are going to make progress on the big issues facing us.

2. Janet Yellen

Photo Credit: International Monetary Fund

In January 2014, Janet Yellen made history. Although finance and economics are industries in which women are reportedly falling behind, Ms. Yellen began her role as Federal Reserve Chairman this past January. She had held the position of Vice Chair for the previous four years. She is the first woman to hold this position in the 100-year history of the U.S. central bank.

3. Angela Merkel

Photo Credit: Cabinet Office

Angela Merkel is a German politician best known as the first female chancellor of Germany. Born in 1954 and trained as a physicist, Merkel entered politics after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. After rising to the position of Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union party, she became Germany’s first female chancellor and one of the leading figures of the European Union, following the 2005 national elections. She is now known as not just one of the architects of the European Union, but also a pivotal figure in its operation.

4. Mary Barra

Photo Credit: zennie62

A big shout-out for Mary Barra! Women now hold the top spots in some of the country’s largest tech firms, from HP to Yahoo, and are dominating the defense industry with a female executive in charge of the three biggest contractors — Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and BAE. Most recently, Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors, the first female chief of the world’s largest automaker.

5. Wendy Davis

Photo Credit: thetexastribune

The state senator from Fort Worth, Texas, made headlines last summer for an 11-hour filibuster to block a bill that would limit access to abortion. Americans across the nation took to social media to voice their admiration and support for the senator who stood up, literally, for something she believed in. Though the courts eventually upheld the law, Wendy Davis has earned popular support and is now running for governor of Texas in the 2014 election.

6. Beyoncé

Photo Credit: mp3waxx.com

Beyoncé has been pushing the boundaries of feminism recently; just check out the track “Flawless” on her new album. The raucous number samples Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk, titled “We Should All Be Feminists.” (Adichie recently published a book, Americanah, about love and race in Nigeria.) In interviews the musician has been voicing support for feminism, calling herself a modern-day feminist in Vogue.

7. Barbara Lee

Photo Credit: lee.house.gov

Who doesn’t know the name of Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), so often a lone voice on progressive causes? Lee is a tireless supporter of women’s rights and has spent much of the past year making important strides in pro-women legislation. The congresswoman recently introduced a bill (HR 3774) which would repeal abstinence-only program funding and support comprehensive sexuality education. In September 2013, President Obama nominated her to be a representative of the United States to the United Nations, making her the first African American woman to hold that position.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Malala Yousafzai Photo Credit: United Nations Information Centres


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago


Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Ashley heffner
Lady Suki5 years ago

Janet Yellen is probably the most powerful woman in the U.S. now.

Ashley heffner
Lady Suki5 years ago

Love Malala.

Chien Chao
Chien Chao5 years ago

thank you

Koty Lapid
Koty Lapid5 years ago

Thank you for posting it.

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

Linda----In Germany, 50% of their company's board of governors has to be made up of the workers themselves. . Germany says all of its nuclear power plants will be shut by 2022. as Germany will expand its offshore wind-power capacity fourfold this year as projects totaling 1.5 gigawatts are expected to begin generating power.
Germany has the world's oldest universal care system and is arguably the most successful.
It's the POLICIES of the country of Germany.......remember the USA has plenty of moneyed people who only enrich themselves.

Deborah W.
Deborah W5 years ago

Replace Beyonce and Wendy Davis with Margaret Thatcher and Mother Teresa and maybe ...

Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago

eh..some of these people I'm not fond of.

Peggy A.
Peggy A5 years ago

Thank you for sharing!