Who runs the world? That’s right, girls. International Women’s Day is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of the powerful women dedicating time to creating a better, more unified society. This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, is heavily influenced by the powerful movements that have gained attention over the last year. #MeToo and #TimesUp are just two examples of the global activism paving a way for future generations of women. Though progress continues to be made, it’s important to acknowledge the struggles and stories of the women continuing to fight for their rights. This year, be sure to get inspired by the influential women contributing to society and create your own positive change.
Chopra has been working for years on perfecting the arts of acting and activism. She began her career in India as a Bollywood actress and after 40 films, she appeared in the 2017 remake of Baywatch. Currently, Chopra stars in the hit show Quantico, making her the first Indian woman to star as a lead in a U.S. drama series. Aside from her talent on screen, she’s made quite a social impact. Her passion for children’s rights and education has led her to work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She even started her very own nonprofit, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education, in the hopes of providing schooling and health care to children in India.
“To be a philanthropist, you don’t have to be Nelson Mandela. You just have to look around you and ask, ‘What little bit can I do? Whose life can I touch?'” – Priyanka Chopra
Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland
These four are the perfect example that women working together can make a world of a difference. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they came together to create one of the most influential events for women in recent history. On Jan. 21, 2017, the Women’s March became a nationwide protest against inequality and endless other issues affecting human rights. As individuals, each of these women has worked hard to create a difference, but together their activism and strength have led to the creation of the Women’s March and all the influence that followed.
“Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.” – Women’s March
At only 23, Raisman has accomplished more than most. In both 2012 and 2016, she led the U.S. women’s gymnastics team in the Olympics. After winning back-to-back gold medals, Raisman became one of the many victims to speak out against the U.S. gymnastics team’s doctor, Larry Nassar. She publicly shared her troubling experience alongside her team members who struggled with the same harsh truths. Her powerful testimony challenged the large issues regarding sexual assault and inspired others to do the same. She is now working with Aerie on a body positivity campaign that focuses on presenting “real” women without Photoshop.
“My dream is that one day everyone will know what the words #MeToo signify. But they will be educated and able to protect themselves from predators like Larry so that they will never ever, ever have to say the words, ‘me, too.'” – Aly Raisman
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated
From Ugly Betty to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ferrera has been a face we all know and love. Recently, she’s taken her public platform and transformed it into a place where her voice can be heard for more than the roles she plays. Alongside her husband Ryan Piers Williams and actor Wilmer Valderrama, she founded Harness, an advocacy organization that strives to change narratives by representing different communities of marginalized people. Ferrera also works with the organization Voto Latino which encourages Latinos to vote and become more politically involved. Her advocacy doesn’t end there; she has taken part in the #MeToo movement and spoke openly at the Women’s March last January.
“We have to change what in our culture has led us to this moment.” – America Ferrera