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5 influential women you need to know about

March 15, 2023

The 8th March marks International Women’s Day and to celebrate, we’re highlighting 5 influential women who have shaped history and the world we live in today. Did you know all of these facts?

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican woman who had multiple disabilities; she contracted polio as a child and was involved in a car accident as a teen, which caused her spinal and pelvis damage. She became a world-renowned self-portrait painter whose images can be recognised by all ages. She’s since serves as a role model for generations of artists, people with disabilities and bisexual women.

In Kahlo’s painting ‘The Broken Column (1944)’ she depicts herself standing on the beach. Her body is open down the middle, showing a rod and restrictive medical corsets, which she had to wear for most of her life. There are also nails embedded into her skin throughout her body.

Kahlo was a trailblazer for talking and showcasing visible and invisible disabilities, Latinos, woman and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks occupies an iconic status in the civil rights movement. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to vacate a seat on a bus, in favour of a white passenger in Alabama. She rejected the driver’s orders to leave a row of seats in the ‘coloured’ section once the white section had been filled up and move to the back of the bus.

Her defiance sparked a boycott of buses in Montgomery a few days later. Not only did residents refuse to board the cities busses, shared car rides, rode in Black-owned taxis, or walked as far as 20 miles. The boycott was led by a newcomer to Montgomery, another infamous name, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is most notably known as a Supreme Court justice, where she successfully fought against gender discrimination. She broke barriers both in her personal and professional life by overcoming sexism and understanding exactly what kind of change she wanted to make and be in the world.

A few of Ruth’s accolades include, becoming the first tenured female law professor at Columbia, arguing six cases before the Supreme Court (and winning five), becoming the first justice to officiate a same-sex marriage, becoming the first female Jewish Supreme Court justice.

Maya Angelo

Maya Angelo was an acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and auto biographer. Most famously, she became known for her work as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet.

Never hesitant to speak her mind, Angelou passionately defended the rights of women, young people and the ignored. She effortlessly travelled the worlds of literature and activism, becoming a confidante to the original civil rights leaders, their successors and the current generation. Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris recently made history as being the first woman of colour to serve as the Vice President of the United States. Before securing the position, she was a former California attorney general and U.S. Senator.

Throughout her career, Harris has ticked off a lot of ‘firsts’. As one publication puts it, “her political gifts made it easy to forget that with each step in her career she was making history”. While Kamala’s role is still evolving, she will deal with issues such as voting rights and immigration.

Those are just five of the most influential and inspiring women we’ve come across. Who are some of the most inspirational women in your life? Let us know over on our official social channels.