To celebrate International Women’s Day, which falls on the 8th March, we’ve come up with a list of truly wonderful women that we admire, respect and adore. Hailing from all walks of life and with very different jobs, talents and achievements, these strong women are our heroes for the way they all encourage, nurture and above all, inspire.
Malala Yousafzai – The feminist
Five years ago, a gunman boarded at a then unknown Malala Yousafzai’s school bus in northwestern Pakistan and shot her three times in the head. Her crime was promoting the need of education for girls. Remarkably, Malala lived and her story sent shockwaves around the world, turning a teenage girl overnight into a spokeswoman for equal rights. Since the ordeal, she has been listed in TIME magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’, co-received the Nobel Peace Prize and has written a bestselling novel. She continues her activism and recently, opened a school in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, for Syrian refugees. A symbol for education, freedom and self-determination, her story is only just beginning.
Michelle Obama – The campaigner
The First Lady has worked tirelessly alongside her husband to fight for social change and justice in her home country and across the world. The only First Lady to hold two Ivy League degrees, her list of successes include the launch of Let’s Move!, a comprehensive initiative that is dedicated to addressing the problem of childhood obesity. She has also campaigned tirelessly for the Let Girls Learn programme, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school. She’s proved so popular that people want her to run for president in 2020. Here’s hoping!
Iris Apfel – The fashion legend
American Iris Apfel has won over hearts and minds with her continuous zest for life and refusal to believe that once you get to a certain age you should stop caring. Her career as an interior designer and textile maker has taken her to the far corners of the world – from obscure bazaars in pursuit of rare fabrics to Washington D.C., where she organised a White House restoration project for the Kennedys. In 2005, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited her explosive personal collection of accessories, fabrics and garments, which was then followed by a documentary about her life. A complete force of nature in the fashion world, there are no other 96 year olds quite like her!
It’s rather likely that you’ve heard of all the women in our list, but there are strong, downright amazing women all around us. To prove that inspiration can lie closer to home, we hear from our ambassadors, Sarah Carr, Abigail James and Caroline Archer.
“My friend Julie Montagu (also known as The Flexi Foodie) is such an inspiration. Always smiling and full of energy, she lights up a room. She’s such a committed wife and a dedicated mother of 4, who works so hard and through many difficult years continues to follow her passion for health and wellbeing, and encourages other women to do the same. I just love her.”
“This is a shout out to my girlfriends, my tribe and my energy angels! As a collective we support each other through thick and thin – regardless of what is going on in our own lives, and always inspire one another to be better and celebrate our differences. Thank you – you know who you are and I wouldn’t me without you.”
“Since my eldest daughter Isabel was diagnosed with West Syndrome as an infant, Dr Ruth Williams, consultant paediatric neurologist at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, has shown me that faith, strength, hope and love can carry you through. With her relentless workload, she helps many children and inspires me every day.”
The Liz Earle Team x