Having been in a pandemic for several months now, I’ve noticed a lot of people feeling frustrated and down about the monotony of our new “normal”. A lot of our lives have come to a halt and we’re unsure of what step to take next. For me, I had been job hunting as I recently graduated with a master’s degree. However, because of the state of the world right now, the job hunt has stopped and I’m unsure of what to do while I wait for the world to go back to its true normal. To help with that, I’ve put together this short list of 4 inspirational women that might help myself, and everyone reading this, to stay inspired while we wait for the world to heal.
Many have heard of the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai. She has been known for speaking up for her right to education when the Taliban took over her city in the, now called, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan at a very young age. Because of her strong stance and activism, she has been the target of violence, being shot in the head and waking up in a hospital ten days later. After recovering, she moved to the UK with her parents where she continued to fight for girls to receive education across the globe. In 2014, she established the Malala Fund that works to provide girls with the life that they choose.
Also, in 2014, she was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, and thus became the youngest ever to receive the award. She continues to travel the world meeting young girls who experience poverty, wars, child marriage, and gender discrimination, all while studying philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford.
If you would like to donate to the Malala Fund, you can do so here.
I’m sure most of us know who Anne Frank was – a young Jewish girl who wrote about her time in hiding during World War II. When she was only 13 years old, Anne and her family, along with four others, entered the annex in her father’s business and wouldn’t come out until two years later. During her time in hiding, Anne wrote in a, now famous, diary about her hopes and dreams in addition to her new living situation. She would also create short stories and start on a novel, all within the pages of this diary that her father gifted to her.
Once the annex was discovered, Anne and her family were deported to Auschwitz. Her father, Otto, was the only one to survive the war and soon came into possession of Anne’s diary. He was moved by the words his daughter wrote. He learned the Anne aspired to become a writer or a journalist and that, once she was free of the annex and the war, she wanted to publish the stories she had written for all to read. In June of 1947, Otto decided to honor Anne’s wished and publish her writings in hopes that readers would become aware of racism, discrimination, and hatred of Jews.
One of the lesser known, but not less inspirational, women on this list; Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to travel into space. On June 16, 1963 she launched in the Vostok 6 spacecraft which was set to complete 48 orbits in just 71 hours. This would overcome the previous four American astronauts combined totals of orbiting the Earth 36 times. She would also go on to log more flight time than that of every American astronaut before her initial flight, all at the young age of 26. This just goes to show that no matter your age, you can accomplish great things.
Known as the most decorated American gymnast of all-time, Simone Biles is an inspiration all. With 30 Olympic and World medals combined, she set her sights on the, now postponed, 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. With four gymnastics elements named after her, for being the first to compete it without falling at a World or Olympic competition, she is one of the fiercest gymnasts in the game right now.
Outside of gymnastics, Simone has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement stating that the movement, within recent months, has been the start of change. Additionally, Simone has been outspoken with her support for the LGBTQIA+ community. She recently appeared in an Uber Eats commercial with Jonathan Van Ness, who identifies as nonbinary. They are both seen wearing matching leotards in the commercial, which sparked controversy within the “One Million Moms” Christian group who started a petition to show their disdain for the advertisement. Simone responded by strengthening her stance on her support for LGBTQIA+ community.
After writing about four incredibly passionate, and inspiring women; I feel that there is a lot that I can do to help the world around me. I hope that you are also able to feel empowered and inspired by these brave women that are working to change the world for the better.
After earning her master’s degree in forensic psychology, Kara Miller is enthusiastic about exploring other industries that bring out her creative side. She wishes to help inspire people with her writing Outside of writing in her free time, she also enjoys playing video games, reading, and sewing.