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Inspirational Women Of The 21st Century

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brighton chapter.

It’s international women’s day for all my she/her and they/them! Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of those who identify as women should be celebrated every day all around, but for the sake of the yearly calendar, we get to celebrate women on March the 8th. Hopefully, you are blessed enough to be surrounded by strong creative women who inspire you in different aspects of life and even have role models who are women. So here I am going to bring to light some unique and inspiring women in the 21st century that I personally think are paving the way for younger generations whilst pushing for a more equal society.

Malala Yousafzai

You may already be aware of who Malala is and what she stands for, so it may be no surprise why she is considered one of the most inspirational women of the 21st century. Malala Yousafzai was born and grew up in Pakistan, where her father encouraged her education and ran an all-girls school in their village. However, when the Taliban took over, the school was shut down due to the belief that women shouldn’t receive an education; this didn’t deter Malala, who then found herself in 2012 shot on the left side of her face consequently. Despite this, Yousafzai founded the Malala Fund, which aims to give girls globally a chance to receive a form of education. Malala then became to be one of the youngest Noble Prize laureates ever because of her commendable activism.

Little Simz

The creative industry is a crucial space for the next generation of inspiring women to exist freely within which is why I think Little Simz (Simbiatu Ajikawo) is the representation that’s been needed. Little Simz was born and raised in North London who from a young age engaged with the creative industry. By the age of 21 she had written, recorded and released four mixtapes, five Eps and an album. Entering the music industry via the traditional however was consistently blocked so rather than giving up faith, Simz created her own label called Age 101 Music. As well as this, Little Simz took charge in booking her own tv appearances, which landed her in the widely known show ‘Top Boy’. Little Simz as a young female creative genius has been commended by the likes of Stormzy and Kendrick Lamar for her work and visionary in the industry, in turn making her a role model for many who see similarities of themselves in her as she sets a standard for all young female creatives to simply take no as a redirection.

Kathryn Bigelow

Staying in line with the creative industry, another woman who has created a new standard for the younger generation is Hollywood film director Kathryn Bigelow. Bigelow has been hailed for her preeminent styles in contemporary filmmaking, which eventually saw her become the first women to win the Academy Award for Best Director, Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction. Alongside this, Bigelow also became the first woman to win the Saturn Award for Best Director in 1995 for Strange Days. The film industry is one of which that is notoriously dominated by men, leaving little space for women to succeed; however, Kathryn Bigelow sets an example for women not only in the film industry but any industry in fact dominated by men (yes, I know that pretty much means most) that you can create the opportunity for yourself.

Greta Thunberg

Regardless of where you stand on the issue surrounding climate change, you’ve most likely heard of Greta Thunberg. Greta is a young Swedish activist who founded in 2018 the movement Fridays for Future which advocates the need for climate change to world leaders and is youth-led. From this, Greta has been nominated three times for a Noble Peace Prize because of her driven determination and contribution to climate change which has inspired many youths of the day to get on board. What makes Greta a particularly inspiring woman and one of the reasons she is worth mentioning is that she has Asperger’s syndrome, characterized by abnormalities in social interactions. This, however, did not stand in Greta’s way when publicly speaking on national TV, in front of crowds of thousands and in front of governments. For those on the ASD spectrum, Greta is an influential individual who showcases that people should not be boxed in or defined purely on their medical diagnosis, and such individuals can move beyond their disability status.

milly struthers

Brighton '23

I am a female van traveller with the desire to explore the world and interact with a range of people and engulf myself in new cultures. Reflecting shared female and queer issues across all race and ethnicities within my articles Creating a safe and open space in my writing where individuals can relate or emphasis with what is being written and most importantly feel connected and that their not alone in their experiences.