Today on International Day of the Girl, we celebrate the women and girls who inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.
There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today brimming with talent and creativity, a powerful force for shaping a world that’s better for everyone. But so often their dreams and potential are stunted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities.
Today is International Day of the Girl – a UN initiative that aims to highlight the realities of life as a girl across the globe and promote the rights of girls everywhere.
To celebrate a whole day dedicated to making girls and women’s lives better, we asked the Marie Claire team about the female trailblazers who inspire them to be better versions of themselves. Here’s what they said.
Oprah Winfrey. She has built a global brand around spreading her mantra of living your best life, no matter who you are, and is a great example of someone who has the ultimate mix of drive combined with compassion.
Miranda McMinn, Deputy Editor
Malala Yousafzai, for her courage and fearlessness in the pursuit of universal education for girls. She remains stubbornly committed to driving positive change without bitterness despite almost losing her own life just for speaking out. Truly inspiring.
Andrea Thompson, Features Director
JK Rowling, for creating the extraordinary world I spent my teens totally immersed in, before redistributing so much of the money she made to charity that she slipped off the billionaire list. Also, for providing a consistently right-on world view about pretty much anything on Twitter.
Lucy Pavia, Entertainment Editor
The late, great Sue Lloyd-Roberts who, throughout her thirty year career as a journalist, reported from some of the world’s most dangerous corners – from Syria to China – to expose human rights abuses. A wonderful storyteller and an utterly fearless woman’s woman.
Tracy Ramsden, Features Editor
Bobbi Brown for believing in herself and starting her own make-up brand with the $5000 USD she had in her bank account. The same billion dollar make-up brand that focusses on giving back to women through charities such as The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women and Girls, which raises funds to support programs that provide them with education, job skills and work experience. Oh and she managed to do all of this while raising three children.
Natalie Lukaitis, Digital Beauty Editor
Zianna Oliphant – the nine-year-old #blacklivesmatter activist who gave a powerful speech at a city council meeting (that went viral) about growing up black in North Carolina.
Sophie Davis, Deputy Head Of Production
‘Yeonmi Park, for her courageous work as a human rights activist and for sharing her story about escaping North Korea. Her memoir is one of the most powerful books I have ever read.’
Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Editorial Assistant
Emma Thompson, because she is unashamedly very loud and very outspoken on women’s issues, perfectly summed up when she said: ‘What I feel is that we all need to speak up and a woman who has got a louder voice needs to shout very loudly indeed.’
Holly Rains, Digital Deputy Editor
Manjit K. Gill, CEO of Binti. For dedicating her life to the game-changing creation of Binti: an empowering social enterprise that dispels the negative myths and taboos around periods in India and Africa, aiming to provide sanitary towels to all girls and women as a basic right.
Jenny Proudfoot, Features Assistant
Erin Pizzey, for setting up the first ever women’s shelter and dedicating her life to protecting vulnerable women even when she was faced with eviction, abuse and arrest.
Georgie Lane-Godfrey, Freelance Writer
Stella McCartney for sticking to her ethical principles on animal rights in the fashion industry.
Gillian Brett, Acting Digital fashion editor
Katie Piper, for her courage in speaking out and helping others who have suffered burns disfigurements.
Claire Hearn, Chief Sub Editor
My sister. For being a role model, unbelievably strong and everything a sister should be.
Abbie-Joelle Skliarsky, Beauty Assistant