In honor of the International Women’s Day 2017 call to #BeBoldforChange, we’re sharing the stories of 5 women who have forged their own paths to help create a safer, more inclusive future — a future where women and all people can thrive.
“All I want is an education, and I am afraid of no one.”
Malala was born in Northwest Pakistan, where she was inspired by her father’s denouncement of the Taliban’s prescription that girls and women be barred from attending school. As she grew up, Malala became an outspoken advocate of education and empowerment for women, which led to her winning awards such as the 2011 International Children’s Peace Prize, but also being targeted by the Taliban.
In 2012, Malala’s schoolbus was attacked by a Taliban gunman on her way to school. Malala was severely injured during the ordeal, but rather than breaking her spirit, it only made her resolve stronger. Since then, Malala has helped catalyze support for ratification of Pakistan’s Free and Compulsory Education Bill, created a global fund to empower women around the world through access to education, and she’s been the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
“The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things.”
At the age of 11, Laverne Cox attempted suicide because she had begun to develop feelings about boys that she wasn't able to process in her young mind. “I didn’t want to live,” Cox said of that dark period in her childhood, but she survived, and has thrived since. Lavern is a star of Orange is the New Black, a leading advocate for the Transgender community, and the recipient of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for fighting for equality.
After her career launched through the Harry Potter films, Emma Watson has used her stardom to become a leading advocate for gender equality. As the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson also played a leading role in launching the UN’s HeForShe campaign, which engages men as allies in advancing gender equality and women’s rights around the world.
4 & 5.
Jacqueline Ros and Andrea Perdomo
“It’s more than a business. It’s a movement. A movement of people taking back their lives; people living their lives without worrying about what they are wearing, where they are going, or what time they’re going out."
Jacqueline and Andrea founded Revolar to create technology that could help prevent assaults and create a safer future for people everywhere. Grounded in the belief that feeling safe is the foundation for reaching one's potential, Revolar has partnered with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to help get our technology into the hands of those who need it most.
Who's inspiring you on International Women's Day 2017?