We've compiled a list of inspirational women, past and present, to celebrate International Women's Day. This list includes women from all walks of life, and is not limited to just these five!
1. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg
Ruth Bader-Ginsburg was the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020. She was the first Jewish woman and second woman to serve on the Court. Ruth encountered continuous gender discrimination whilst looking for employment after she graduated from law school, despite her outstanding academic record, and therefore spent most of her career in law advocating for women's rights and gender equality.
We really enjoyed the movie On the Basis of Sex, which is a biographical legal drama about the life of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg.
2. Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman is an Australian former sprinter, becoming the first Australian Indigenous person to become a Commonwealth Games gold medallist at aged 16. She was given the honour of lighting the torch of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and carried both the Australian and the Aboriginal flag in a victory lap of her 400m race. In 2007, Cathy founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation, which works with remote Indigenous communities to close the gap in education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children.
3. Grace Tame
The 2021 Australian of the Year, Grace Tame helped the #LetHerSpeak campaign drive reform and raise public awareness of victim gag laws across Australia, the archaic laws allowing perpetrators and the media to speak about sexual abuse and assault, but not survivors. After a two year legal battle, she won her case in the Supreme Court of Tasmania, allowing her to share her story publicly, the first woman to ever be granted this exemption in Tasmania.
If you haven't yet, please watch her award acceptance speech - very moving and very powerful!
4. Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBTQ+ activist. Laverne was the first transgender woman to be nominated and win an Emmy award, as well as being the first transgender person to play a transgender character on TV. She has won numerous awards for her activism, raising awareness and helping to grow the conversation about transgender culture, her progressive work helping to fight the fight for gender equality.
5. Marie Curie
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist, responsible for pioneering research on radioactivity. She discovered radium and polonium and made a significant contribution to finding treatment for cancer, her work continuing to shape the world today. Marie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first and the only woman to win a Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. Her work also had a monumental effect socially, as she had to overcome even more barriers and hindrances to win her scientific achievements, due to the fact she was a woman.