Women Who Inspire Us: A Look Throughout History

Who run the world? Girls! Women’s History Month is upon us, with International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8th every year. This event is recognized worldwide and celebrates women’s achievements from political to social gender equality. Its aim is to achieve full gender equality since there is still an equality gap globally between men and women.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachforEqual, which focuses on the fact that individually, we’re all responsible for our thoughts and actions, each day. We can choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women’s achievements.¹

And on that note, there are many famous women throughout history who have been fiercely intelligent, inspiring, and pioneers in women’s rights and gender equality. Here are just a few women throughout history who inspire us:  

Amelia Earhart (1897 - 1937)

Who was she? Amelia Earhart was an American aviator who became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to mainland US. Determined to receive her pilot’s license, she began flying lessons in 1920 and passed her flight test in December 1921.

Our favorite quote: “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earhart

What we love about her: She defied gender rules in her time, choosing a male-dominated profession and mastering her craft. We love the passion and determination she displayed by not only going after the job she wanted but being a pioneer in her profession and setting multiple aviation records.

Fun Fact: While attempting to be the first person to circle the entire globe, she disappeared somewhere over the Pacific. Her plane wreckage was never found and her disappearance is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries, even to this day.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

Who was she? Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in 1955. Known as the Montgomery bus boycott, her defiance led to the American civil rights movement and nationwide efforts to end racial segregation of public facilities.

Our favorite quote: “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” - Rosa Parks

What we love about her: She fought for her freedom and stood up for what she believed in despite the consequences. After refusing to give up her seat and fighting racial segregation, she lost her job and endured death threats for years.

Fun Fact: The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights”.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

Who was she? Maya Angelou was an American poet, award-winning author, and civil rights activist. Best known for her memoir ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ which made history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman.

Our favorite quote: “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” - Maya Angelou

What we love about her: She wrote the beloved poem “Phenomenal Woman” that promotes inner beauty and female empowerment. The confidence and honesty in her words resonate with us and inspire our own journeys in self-confidence and inner beauty.

Fun Fact: She wrote and recited the poem ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ for the Clinton inauguration in 1993.

Malala Yousafzai (1997- )

Who is she? Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan on July 12, 1997. When the Taliban overtook her village, they enforced a ban on all girls going to school. At the age of 15 (in 2012), Malala publicly spoke out on women’s rights to education and as a result, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. She survived, moved to the UK, and continues today to be an activist for the right to education and female education.

Our favorite quote: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” - Malala Yousafzai

What we love about her: She founded the Malala Fund which invests in education programs to help girls go to school and reach their full potential.  

Fun Fact: She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving the honor at the age of 17 (in 2014).



There are so many inspiring women who have been trailblazers in civil rights, women’s rights, and gender equality. This Sunday, on International Women’s Day, take some time to reflect on women who inspire you and what you can do to reflect their confidence and positive power. Who’s your role model? Which female historical figures do you admire and respect for making a difference in the world? Share your thoughts below.



¹International Women’s Day. (2020). Accessed on March 5, 2020. https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

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