March 8th 2018 is International Women’s Day, an annual event that aims to raise awareness on gender inequality. Not only does the event call attention to women’s issues across the globe, it celebrates the widespread achievements of astounding women across multiple fields, such as these five here below.
1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie is a Nigerian author of three novels, one short story collection and two feminist essays. Perhaps her most famous feminist work is “We Should All Be Feminists,” which became a best-seller, and was made required reading for every 16-year-old across Sweden (in addition to numerous classrooms around the world). Beyoncé was even a fan, using an excerpt from a speech Adichie made on the topic in her song “Flawless.” A powerhouse, award-winning author, mother and feminist icon who can count Beyoncé as one of her many fans? Now that’s something to celebrate.
2. Brittany Merrill Underwood
Underwood is the founder of the Akola Project, a Ugandan-based social non-profit business, which offers training, education and employment opportunities to underserved women. She sells the locally-made pieces in over 220 boutiques across the country. In doing this, she has elevated over 1,200 women and children out of extreme poverty.
3. Patty Jenkins
Who can think of a stronger, more bad-ass woman than Wonder Woman? Those were Patty Jenkins’ thoughts exactly, when she accepted the role to direct the Warner Brothers film, Wonder Woman. Jenkins recently told Collider, “This is a universal movie about a person wanting to be a hero; this one happens to be a woman.” However, she’s no stranger to female-driven subject matter, having directed the Oscar-winning film Monster in 2008, and the pilot of The Killing, which was Emmy-nominated. Raised by a strong, single-mother herself, Jenkins understands the importance of good female role models – which is why she aims to be one herself.
4. Kathleen Hanna
Hanna is a musician and artist, who rose to fame in the 90s as lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill. In 2013, a documentary entitled The Punk Singer, which detailed Hanna’s life as well as her struggle with Lyme disease, premiered. She was a feminist pioneer, entering the male-dominated world of punk music and becoming a voice for all those who had been side-lined. She continues to make music with her band The Julie Ruin, and tell women that no matter what your passion, you should go pursue it.
5. Yael Aflalo
The Reformation is an eco-friendly clothing line started by former-model Yael Aflalo. Stationed in L.A., the brand aims to re-use and recycle vintage items, as well as surplus material, and counts celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ivanka Trump and Rihanna as clients, as well as Karlie Kloss, who became a partial owner. With the fashion industry being the third-biggest industrial polluter, Aflalo and The Reformation are inspiring both women and men alike to make more conscious fashion choices.
The #BeBoldForChangeCampaign tells us that the expected date for the gender gap to close entirely is 2186 – and that’s just not good enough. But with inspirational women like these tackling a wide-range of industries and issues, things are already looking up.