18 Powerful Women to Name Your Daughters After

Here are the names of 18 women who have carved their names into history by stepping up in fields ranging from aviation to politics to entertainment. Each one has achieved something different, but they all are seen as inspirations in the history of feminism.

  1. 1. Alison Bechdel

    Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist who is most famous for her role in creating the Bechdel-Wallace test which first appeared in her comic Dykes to Watch Out For (1985). This test challenged the inequalities between men and women in the entertainment industry. (1)

  2. 2. Amelia Earhart

    Amelia Earhart was the first woman (and second person) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her courage and strength set a precedent for many young women after her, proving that they could achieve anything a man could, and to pursue what they are passionate about! (2)

  3. 3. Audrey Hepburn

    Not only was Audrey one of the most successful actresses of her time, but she was also a renowned humanitarian and devoted many years of her life to UNICEF and work involving world malnutrition. (3)

  4. 4. Eleanor Roosevelt

    Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the many First Ladies who used her power confidently and with purpose. During her 12 years in the White House, Eleanor Roosevelt fought for human rights. The year after her husbands presidency finished, she became Chairperson of the drafting committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (4)

  5. 5. Emma Watson

    Emma Watson has been a successful actress since she was 8 years old, starring in movies like the Harry Potter series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Beauty and the Beast. Besides her figure in the entertainment industry, Emma completed a degree at Brown University and has become quite the political activist for feminism. Over the past few years she has fought alongside many other women to give power to the #MeToo movement and give girls the right to go to school. She even was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador in 2014. Go Emma! (5)

  6. 6. Greta Thunberg

    Greta is a 17 year old Swedish Climate Change Activist and was named TIME's Person of the Year in 2019. She is well-known for challenging politicians into taking action against climate change. Her journey began when she skipped school to camp out in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign saying "School strike for climate" in Swedish. She has become well-known so quickly because of her age and the fight she has put up. (6)

  7. 7. Malala Yousafzai

    Malala is a Pakistani activist who was shot in the head in 2012 for standing up for girl's rights to go to school. Her father ran a school in their village. When the Taliban took over and didn't allow girls to receive an education anymore, she spoke out. She has since become the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, thanks to her keep-fighting attitude. Malala is an inspiration to all girls to fight for what you believe in, even if it's hard to get up. (7)

  8. 8. Marie Curie

    Marie Curie is one of the most influencial woman scientists of all time. She and her husband were inspired by Henri Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity, which lead to their success in isolating the 84th element on the periodic table, Polonium. It was named after Marie's country of origin, Poland. (8)

  9. 9. Mary McLeod Bethune

    Mary McLeod Bethune was one of the most important women who built the foundation for civil and women's rights in the US. She was a business woman, teacher, civil worker, and served as a woman of color by President Roosevelt's side. Mary is definitely an understated person in history and does not receive the credit she deserves. (9)

  10. 10. Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou portrayed much of her civil rights work through her writing as a novelist and poet. She was a best-selling author, receiving much recognition for her book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, where she described with full honesty the racism and sexual abuse she had experienced in her time. She is an iconic woman who any girl should be proud to look up to. Maya stoood up for herself and told her truth in order to educate, and with success. (10)

  11. 11. Michelle Obama

    I don't even know where to start with Michelle Obama. Not only is she an incredible role model for women all over the world, but she really used her position as FLOTUS to the extent of her ability to promote equality and education for women, and healthy eating. She also obtained degrees from both Princeton and Harvard, and has been inspiring women ever since before her place in the White House. There's too much to say and not enough space, so you can keep reading through the sources. (11)

  12. 12. Naomi Parker Fraley

    Naomi Parker Fraley, also known as 'Rosie the Riveter,' was commonly known as a waitress, but made her mark in history as the woman in the "We Can Do It" poster. She both encouraged men to enlist and told women to do their part in the background of the war. She worked in a Navy machine shop during WWII. Naomi became a symbool of hope during the second world war. (12)

  13. 13. Noor Inayat Khan

    Here's a woman who also took part in the second world war, but on a completely different front. Noor was a spy for the British goverment who was born from an Indian father and American mother in Moscow, Russia. She "was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France by the Special Operations Executive." (13)

  14. 14. Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah is a self-made billionaire who worked her way up through the television industry, ultimately making herself the first female host of a national talk show. She launched The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, eventually buying the show from ABC. Oprah is now a philanthropist, supporting girl's education and children's rights internationally. She was also the world's only black billioinaire for three years and was called the "most influencial woman of her generation" by LIFE. Oprah was a woman who opened all of the doors that were closed to her. (14)

  15. 15. Rosa Parks

    Known as one of the leading ladies of the Civil Rights movement, Rosa Parks was the inspiration for the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956. By refusing to give up her seat to a white man in Alabama, her act of dignity resulted in the abolishment of bus segregation. Stand up for what you believe in! (15)

  16. 16. Ruth Bader Ginsberg

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2016 portrait

    This feminist icon opened almost every so-far open door for women throughout her journey as Supreme Court Justice in 1993. Ruth fought for gender-equality since the 70s, and was tough, but always kept her humour. Keep reading about her through the source down below. (16)

  17. 17. Valentina Tereskova

    Valentina was a Russian cosmonaut, who in 1963 became the first woman to go to space. She was one of four women recruited to a space program for women under Kruschev, but she was the only one who traveled to space. We stan a trendsetter! (17)

  18. 18. Virginia Woolf

    Virginia Woolf was a British Novelist, well-known for her books Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). She was an experimentalist with different styles of writing (18) and "a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device" (19).

Who would you name your daughter after?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19