Five Women Making a Change

Women have a huge impact on our world. You may have heard statements such as “the future is female.” The women on this list (and many more) are working to show just how true that is. I believe that it is important to give recognition to people who are out in the world working to make it better. People may find it hard to believe that a single individual’s actions can make a large impact on the billions of people that inhabit the Earth, but it’s true. This year I am making it a goal to be inspired by influential women creating a positive change.

Malala Yousafzai

At just 21 years old, Yousafzai has already become an international symbol for women’s education. The native Pakistani has been speaking about the importance of girls receiving an education since 2009, when she was just eleven. The Taliban’s mandate banned women from attending school. Yousafzai continued to go to school despite this ban, even after surviving a near-fatal shooting by a Taliban gunman in October 2012. She survived the attack and has since become an iconic symbol of resistance in Pakistan. If this isn’t inspiring enough, she is also the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

Melinda Gates

Since co-founding the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2000, Melinda has helped turn it into the world’s largest philanthropic organization. In 2012, the organization gave out $3.9 billion to various programs. In the recent years, Melinda Gates has dedicated her time and resources to family planning. Gates has spoken to women in developing countries all over the world to better her understanding of their access to birth control. It has been her plan to raise money to fund her plan to give hundreds of millions of women access to contraceptives within the coming years.

Yasmine Yehia Moustafa

Moustafa, then 17, devised a system that filters water through burning rice straw to help provide Egyptian communities access to clean water. For this discovery, Moustafa won first place in the earth and environmental sciences category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015. NASA even named an asteroid in her honor!

Priyanka Chopra

After winning Miss World in 2000, Chopra realized that she had the power to make a difference on a global scale. For 12 years the actress has worked with UNICEF, later serving as a global Goodwill Ambassador to promote the rights of children around the world. Chopra has even started her own nonprofit, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education, to provide schooling and health care to children in India.

Jazz Jennings

At just six years old, Jennings was interviewed by Barbara Walters for a television special about transgender children. Since then, she has continued to educate the public on transgender issues, and what it means to be a part of the transgender community. The activist has a TLC show called I am Jazz and helped to write a children's book by the same title. She continues to speak about about LGBTQ+ rights and uses her platform to discuss these issues.

 

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