5 Inspiring Women Making an Impact

2018 was a particularly notable year for women.

There was a spike in the number of women who ran for office AND won, the #MeToo movement had its first full year and, not to mention, women in Saudi Arabia can now drive legally.

However, there were some women working behind the scenes that you may not have heard of. Here are 5 women you should know about:

1. Thet Thet Wai

After the 21-year-old Myanmarian quit her publication relations job, she began training for Myanmar's female bodybuilding competition, benching almost double her body weight. Soon after winning third place, she started posting videos of herself lifting to Facebook and soon gained over 20,000 followers. She began to notice that others were posting photos of victims of sexual assault in her country. Wai decided to put her fame to good use and now advocates for harsher penalties for rape.

2. Man Kaur

At 101, Man Kaur is running more than any of us ever will. Hailing from India, Kaur began running in 2009 at 93 years old, with the encouragement of her son. Since then, she has won 17 gold medals for running in meets in Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. She hits the track everyday, some days running up to 200 meters. Kaur is proving that no matter your age, you can achieve your goals. 

3. Marley Dias

Marley Dias, a self-made writer, activist and entrepreneur, has made quite the name for herself at just 13 years old. Growing up as an avid reader, Dias noticed that there was a lacking number of leading characters that are girls of color. In 2015, she started the campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks in effort to collect and donate 1,000 books featuring black girls as main characters. Since then, she has collected over 9,000 books, spoke on talk shows such as CBS This Morning and The View, and has even written her own book titled “Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You.”

4. Rashema Saujani

During her run for congress in 2012, Rashema Saujani noticed that the schools in her congressional campaign route had little to no girls in their computer science classes. She was inspired to start a company called Girls Who Code, a program that teaches girls how to code and inspire them to take up careers in the tech field. Since the program’s launch in 2012, she has reached over 90,000 young girls. She is also author of the book “Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder.”

5. Maria Garcia Ramos

Maria Garcia Ramos, the founder of Mexican Women With Disabilities, has been wheelchair bound since she was 14 years old. Because of her background, Ramos became an advocate for policies that advance rights to Mexican women with disabilities. Ramos has appeared on several different panels, such as SXSW, where she called out Paramount and Warner Bros for underrepresenting people with disabilities in their shows. In 2017, Ramos even represented Mexico at the U.N Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

           

With women like these proving their strength no matter their obstacles (or age), 2019 is sure to be another year for women.

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” - J.K. Rowling