10 women who are changing the world
2015-09-15 15:04:36 -
World News
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Now, more than ever, these women and many more like them are changing the world as we know it, says Victoria Prince

 

 

It seems like many decades since women first began fighting for equality within politics, business and society. However, even in 2015 we have not quite succeeded in providing equal rights for women in these areas. Women continue to fight, to speak out, and to overcome adversity when faced with the constraints put on them by traditionally male-centric society. Here are just 10 who constitute a major force to be reckoned with, with real world-changing influence.

 

 

Oprah Winfrey is known across the globe for her incredible rags-to-riches story, and for becoming one of the most influential African-American women in US history. She has created a media empire, which has allowed her to become the only black billionaire in the United States. Her creation of a new kind of ‘confessional’ media opened the doors for minority groups in America to find their way into mainstream media.

 

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a prominent Nigerian author and self-described feminist. She’s written three full-length novels and a number of short stories and poems. Her fictional work often emphasises the problems young, African women face in a world that refuses to acknowledge them. In a popular TEDX talk she addressed issues surrounding gender identity and young women, underlining the importance of debunking myths and stereotypes surrounding the word ‘feminist’.

 

 

Hillary Clinton is one of the most prominent women in American politics. She was American’s first lady during husband Bill Clinton’s presidency from 1993 to 2001, served as New York’s Senator from 2001-2009 and was Secretary of State under the Obama administration from 2009-2013. She’s currently the leading Democratic candidate for the 2016 Presidential election. She’s a left-leaning candidate, who supports reproductive rights, the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality and stabilising the position of the middle class.

 

 

Former US Olympian Caitlyn Jenner has become the new face of transgender rights. After publicly coming out to Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview earlier this year, Jenner has chosen to document her transition in the public eye. Due to this, she’s successfully demystifying what it means to be transgender.

 

 

Joanne Liu has been president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, since 2013. Liu helped develop one of the first programmes that helped victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has notably worked in many conflict zones such as Palestine, the Central African Republic and Sudan’s Darfur region. Lately she and MSF have been at the forefront of fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in west Africa.

 

 

Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is the second woman to hold the top political office in the South American country. She was the first directly elected and re-elected woman. Despite being the leading female in a culture that values machismo – a strong, exaggerated form of masculinity – she has proven through strong political and personal convictions that she is a formidable politician, and one who will not bow down in the face of misogyny or gender-based bias.

 

 

Malala Yousafzai is only 18 years old but is already known around the globe as a Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Prize laureate. After she survived an assassination attempt, she began to gain prominence in the international community. Most recently she’s opened a school for girls aged 14-18 in Lebanon and famously calls on world leaders to fight with “books, not bullets”.

 

 

Stefania Ferrario is an Australian model currently working in the UK. She’s one of the many industry-dubbed ‘plus size’ women currently fighting against that damaging label. She has gained notoriety after starting the #droptheplus trend on Instagram, of which many women both outside and inside the fashion industry have come out in support. This is one of many new trends addressing the psychologically harmful effects the fashion industry has on women.

 

 

Viktoria Modesta is a Latvian pop star and model. When she turned 20 years old she underwent a voluntary below-the-knee amputation. However, she’s chosen to proudly emphasise her amputated status by modelling high-fashion prosthetic legs and customising those same legs for concerts and red carpet appearances. Her presence in the public eye is discrediting stereotypes surrounding amputees and normalising the presence of people with disablities in the entertainment industry.

 

 

Jennifer Welter is the new intern coaching American football team the Arizona Cardinals’ linebackers. After signing with the team, she has become the first female coach in NFL history. She’s also a gold medallist who has spent her life playing professional and semi-professional women’s American football.

 

 

Whether they’re fighting for social rights, making waves in the political world or trying to rise above the wage gap, these 10 women – among countless others – have chosen to speak out against injustice faced in the present day.

 

They’re no longer allowing men to dominate politics, executive positions or the media. They don’t have to prove that feminism doesn’t mean you cannot be feminine, and they are no longer accepting that they will make less money than men for the same work. 

 

Now, more than ever, these women and many more like them are changing the world as we know it.

TAGS : Equal Rights Oprah Winfrey Hillary Clinton Caitlyn Jenner Joanne Liu Christina Fernandez Malala Yousafzai Stefania Ferrario Viktoria Modesta Jennifer Welter Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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