On the heels of Black History Month, we’re kicking off Women’s History Month by highlighting diverse women on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019! Undoubtedly, we’re honored to showcase some of the most influential women leading the charge across arts and entertainment, technology, and grassroots activism, among other spaces. These phenomenal women are mothers, sisters, daughters, and nieces primed to cultivate a long-awaited gender balance in areas once dominated by a male-centric narrative. Our Women’s History Month list of the top 10 women leaders and muses consists of women who have made history, as well as those who are currently making their cause known!
Ladies, in no particular order, here’s our Women’s History Month list of the Top 10 Women Leaders and Muses for your #GirlBoss, #BalanceForBetter, and #WomensEmpowerment inspiration:
1.Emma Watson, actress and activist
As one of the trailblazers for the HeForShe movement, Emma Watson continues to inspire women of all ages to stand for a cause greater than themselves. The HeForShe movement is a solidarity campaign, initiated by the United Nations, for the advancement of gender equality. Since its inception in 2014, the HeForShe movement has ignited 1.3 billion social media conversations, realized 1.7 million HeForShe commitments, and galvanized others across 1.1 thousand community events.
2. Malala Yousafzai, activist
This human rights activist is quoted as saying, “I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.” Through Malala Yousafzai’s resolute spirit and vision for girls’ education, she received a Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy efforts that resulted in her attempted assassination by the Taliban. Today, Malala Yousafzai continues to raise awareness regarding education rights for all girls.
3. Gertrude B. Elion, biochemist and pharmacologist
One of the most pioneering change agents in the realm of medicine is Gertrude B. Elion. In 1988, she won the Nobel Prize in physiology for her innovative efforts and research methods that aided her launch of a drug that would later lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT. Today, countless individuals are able to live relatively healthy, long lives as a result of Getrude’s research.
4. Patsy Mink, lawyer and politician
For those of you who are interested in exploring a career in law and/or politics, Patsy Mink should serve as a source of inspiration during Women’s History Month. Patsy Mink is one of the first non-white women and the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. Throughout her congressional career, she advocated for women’s issues, chiefly equal rights. Patsy Mink’s most significant win was the Women’s Educational Equity Act, which provided $30 million annually in educational funds for programs to promote gender equity in schools.
5. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, human rights organization
Under the leadership of Estela Barnes de Carlotto, an Argentine human rights activist, The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is uniting global communities for a greater cause. This human rights organization was developed with the goal of finding and reuniting stolen and illegally adopted children during the Argentine dictatorship. To explore more about this human rights organization during Women’s History Month, visit Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo.
6. Winnie Mandela, activist
Although Nelson Mandela was revered globally as a revolutionary and political leader, among other roles, one of the most influential women in his life was none other than Winnie Mandela. As a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician and ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie was affectionately known as the “Mother of the Nation.” Although she was imprisoned on various occasions, her perseverance inspired women to cultivate an unwavering spirit of determination that has influenced today’s women’s rights initiatives.
7. Brittany Barnett, attorney and criminal justice reform advocate
Founder of Buried Alive as well as Girls Embracing Mothers, Brittany Barnett is charting a path for women to follow in 2019 (and beyond). Brittany Barnett is the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother. To this end, she leverages her personal experience with criminal justice to address mass incarceration for women. Her life-changing work has achieved executive clemency for seven of her clients under former President Barack Obama.
8. Nelba Marquez-Greene, activist
When a mother’s worst nightmare unfolds, as it did for this mother of a Sandy Hook Elementary School student, significant shifts in social justice ensue. Nelba Marquez-Greene started The Ana Grace Project, an organization to address social isolation and social justice in schools due to gun violence, after her 6-year old daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
9. Reshma Saujani, CEO, activist, and attorney
As the founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization aiming to support and increase the number of women in computer science, Reshma Saujani’s efforts have reached almost 90,000 girls of varying races and ethnicities across all 50 states. Currently, Girls Who Code is on track to realize gender parity in computer science by 2027. To explore more about Reshma and her organization during Women’s History Month, visit Girls Who Code.
10. Theresa Malkiel, activist
Concluding our list of top influential women leaders and muses is the creator of International Women’s Day, Theresa Malkiel. As an activist, Theresa worked to raise awareness for women’s rights, particularly with regards to labor rights. Ironically, she penned Diary of a Shirtwaist Maker only a year prior to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911, which was the deadliest industrial disaster in New York City’s history. [
We hope that you have found our Women’s History Month list of the top 10 influential women leaders and muses empowering, as you celebrate International Women’s Day and the remainder of this celebratory month!
And, for those of you ambitious women who are primed to elevate your wheelhouse and influence, the Woman Thou Art Loosed (WTAL) Conference is returning to the great city of Atlanta for WTAL Vision 2020! So, get ready to gather your girlfriends and join us in September 2020 for this highly anticipated women’s conference in Atlanta, Georgia! Sis, what are you waiting for? Explore WTAL Vision 2020, today!