INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN - PART 2
A little while back we shared a post that we chose to call ‘THE ERA OF THE GIRL BOSSES’ where we talked about females who inspires us. Then we focused on the business side of things, finding inspiration from their success in growing large fashion empires. But enough about this old post (you can read it here if it interests you), today we want to look at some even more inspiring women. Women who has not only created an impressing career for themselves, but also dedicated big parts of their lives to work for some core issues of today’s society like gender equality, the right to an education, humanitarian work helping the large group of refugees in hope of finding a new and safer life for them and their family.
There are so many amazing women (and men of course) out there, and it was almost impossible to choose who to write about in this post. There is of course the most obvious women like Mother Theresa, Anne Frank, Ang Sang Suu Kyi and Marie Curie, to name a few, who has all in their own way made a big difference in this world. However, in this post I wanted to talk about the work of some of the ‘heroes’ of our generation. I have chosen some very world-renowned celebrities, whom I’m sure you are already familiar with. I believe that celebrities have a responsibility to be good role models seeing that they have such a big voice that many people will listen to. Luckily there are many celebrities in this world who use their fame to help good causes.
I am a massive Harry Potter fan, not just the ‘I have read the books’ kind of fan but the sort of person who cried her eyes out when entering Diagon Valley whilst visiting Universal Studios in LA. Yes, I am one of the rather loopy ones…. I’m therefor naturally also a big fan of Emma Watson, who had the role of Hermione Granger in this massive ‘wizard franchise’. Watson has also recently starred in Disney’s recent remake of ‘Beauty and The Beast’ where she plays the role of Belle. The British actress is with no doubt a very successful young woman, but is doing so much more than just her on screen acting – she is well educated with a degree from Brown University, and she is also a gender equality activist.
The British actor was at 24 years old appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014. Emma wishes to empower women, and is working with the UN through their HeForShe campaign in promoting gender equality.
Here is some of what is said about Emma on UN’s own website:
‘At just 24 years of age, Emma has already been involved in the promotion of girls’ education for several years and previously visited Bangladesh and Zambia as part of her humanitarian efforts. She has worked to promote fair trade and organic clothing and served as an ambassador for Camfed International, a movement to educate girls in rural Africa.
“Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling,” said Emma. “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience and awareness to this role.” (unwomen.org)’
We think it is amazing that Emma is using her voice as a very famous celebrity to fight for something she believes in! Very inspiring indeed :)
ANGELINA JOLIE PITT
So, over to another very successful and very famous actress – Angelina Jolie. For those who don’t already know her (if that’s anyone at all :P), Jolie is an Oscar winning American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian. Known for her rolls like Lara Croft in Tomb Rider, and Disney’s Maleficent she is someone most of us have seen on the movie screens!
“In addition to her film career, Jolie is noted for her humanitarian efforts, for which she has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and an honorary damehood of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors. She promotes various causes, including conservation, education, and women's rights, and is most noted for her advocacy on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (wikipedia.org)”
“Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia. She eventually turned to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide, for more information on international trouble spots. (looktothestars.com)”
Angelina Jolie is known for her stunning looks and has been named one of the world’s most beautiful women by several different magazines, websites and so on. But she is clearly very beautiful on so many more levels than just her looks. We think that Angelina’s work and dedication to her humanitarian work makes her a very unique person – and someone we find incredibly inspiring!
At last I want to talk about the amazing work of this very young Pakistani girl, who has become one of today’s biggest activists for female rights to education. Malala has also played a big role in the work towards bettering the rights of Pakistani women. I was given the book ‘I am Malala’ for Christmas shortly after it first got realised. I had not heard about Malala before then, but was quickly amazed reading about her life experiences and honourable work. Her young aged made me even more impressed with Yousafzai.
Unlike Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, Malala has become famous solely because of her work and bravery. Already at only 11 years old she started to write anonymously for BBC Urdu where she documented and criticised events from her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. movement. In 2014 at 17 years old she became the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize. Malala was shot and seriously injured by a Taliban gunman in 2012 only 15 years old. Luckily, she made it through after a critical recovery period at Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology and was eventually moved to the British Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. This horrific murder attempt led to an enormous international support for this brave Pakistani girl whose life had been threatened due to her choosing to speak up for what she believes in.
“Since recovering, Yousafzai became a prominent education activist. Based out of Birmingham, she founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit, and in 2013 co-authored I am Malala, an international bestseller. In 2015, Yousafzai was a subject of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary He Named Me Malala. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured her as one of the most Influential people globally. In 2012, she was the recipient of Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize and the 2013 Sakharov Prize. In 2014, she was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi, for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education (wikipedia.org) .
Needless to say that Malala Yousafzai is a massive inspiration to us, we are completely stunned by her bravery and hope that she continues to succeed in her important work for human rights. We need more girls like Malala in this world!