Today is the 100th anniversary of the first women in the UK winning the right to vote. The suffrage movement fearlessly fought for gender equality – 100 years later, I am immensely grateful for all that they sacrificed so that we could enjoy a society where women are treated as equals! Whilst women today continue to drive for fairness across all sectors, the foundation laid by the suffrage movement remains the cornerstone of the campaign for equality. Today and always, their resolve and determination must always be remembered!
In light of this centenary, I’ve been thinking about all of the women who I look up to and who inspire me to have courage in my own abilities. Some of whom I know and love – some of whom I wish I had the privilege of knowing.
Here are the truly inspirational women who inspire me:
I need look no further than my very own family for women who are achieving great things every day. They’ve taught me how important it is to support other women, to protect them and celebrate their successes instead of judging or criticising. Every day, I’m grateful for their unfaltering support.
The First Lady of Civil Rights. Her resistance to segregation played an integral role in a movement that would change the lives of millions. Black and mixed-race women, especially in America, would not have the opportunities available to them today without Rosa Parks’ bravery in saying ‘no’. Her legacy lives on as the push for equality continues.
Graduating High School at just 14, Katherine Johnson became a pioneer in space science and computing. She worked at NASA at a time when women were expected to be housewives and racial segregation remained in America’s Southern states. During her outstanding career, she contributed critical calculations to America’s aeronautics and space programs, including the 1969 Apollo flight to the Moon. Katherine is the ultimate inspiration for smashing through glass ceilings!
She’s earned worldwide acclaim for her stunning stage and screen performances, but behind all of the glamour of her award-winning career, she has endured the tragedy surrounding the murder of her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.
In the face of adversity, her talent has shone through. Her achievements remind me that no matter how difficult life can be or what it throws at you, hard-work and dedication can still pay.
The leader of the British suffragette movement, without whom women in the UK may never have won the right to vote.
Many have cited her as one of the most important people of the 20th century – I am most definitely inclined to agree! As a female with an enthusiasm for politics, I am profoundly grateful to Emmeline and those in the suffrage movement who dedicated their lives so that women can have their say. It is remarkable to think of all that women have achieved, especially in politics, since the suffragettes’ first victory in 1918.
There are so many incredible elements to Oprah’s life, that I don’t know where to begin. I cannot read about her story without tearing up, partly in anguish over her struggle to survive one of the worst childhoods imaginable, but also in amazement at just how breathtaking her achievements really are. A lady who grew up so poor that she had to wear dresses made from potato sacks, became the first black multi-billionaire in America and is the richest African-American to have ever lived. Oh, and she’s also been assessed by many, as the most influential woman in the world!
Margaret Thatcher & Theresa May
I’m proud to live in a country that has been led by two female Prime Ministers. To reach the top in a political landscape that remains male-dominated, demonstrates unquestionable strength and resilience. Both remind me to have confidence in my own beliefs, even if they don’t fall in line with popular opinion.
My Best Friend
Jey is the most independent lady I know! Since her early teens she’s single-handedly taken control of her life and has bossed everything she’s set her mind to ever since. I don’t know what I’d do without her pearls of wisdom to guide me through my quarter-life crises!
Michelle Obama, to me, is proof that nobody’s background or ancestry should define what they’ll become. From the great great grand-daughter of a slave to the First Lady of the United States of America – her story is extraordinary. She made her time as First Lady about so much more than what she wore, instead inspiring a generation of young women to educate themselves.