International Women’s Day: Inspirational women to look out for in 2018

International Women’s Day, on Thursday 8th March, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also stands as a reminder of the progress still to be made in gender equality. Here are five inspirational women who are making their own impact on the world.

Stacey Dooley

With 60 documentaries and a published book to her name, BBC journalist Stacey Dooley is someone to follow. In the male-dominated, Oxbridge-educated world of broadcasting, Dooley still managed to defy odds. She has arguably become one of the most relatable documentarists on television.

What’s more, Dooley’s documentaries focus a lot on women to which she brings her own sympathetic style:

  • Women fighting ISIS
  • Abortion laws
  • Domestic violence
  • Sex abuse
  • Homophobia
  • Homelessness
  • Drug addiction

Dooley treats them all with the intimacy, kindness, and attentiveness of a friend.

Michelle Elman

As much as we’re told that our looks don’t matter, it’s hard not to let outer appearance dictate our inner confidence. Michelle Elman is out to prove that any type of body is beautiful.

Elman is an award-winning Body Confidence Coach and body positive activist. After 15 surgeries in twenty years, Elman started the #ScarredNotScared campaign which celebrates people who bravely live with and embrace their scars.

Her Instagram has over 140 million followers and has attracted attention from celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel and newspapers such as The Independent and Cosmopolitan. It features body-positive, motivational quotes. As well as, insights into her own life, and spotlights on other equally inspiring women.

Ruby Tandoh

You may know her as a Great British Bake Off winner, but since 2013 Ruby Tandoh has made an even greater impact on the cooking industry.

Tandoh, who suffered from an eating disorder in her teens, has campaigned for a change in how we view food and eating. She believes that the recent wellness craze and dieting culture can lead to:

  • Body shaming
  • Food snobbery
  • Obsessive behaviour
  • An unhealthy relationship with food
  • The removal of pleasure from food.

Tandoh wants to remind people that you don’t always have to be a ‘hard core foodie’ and that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a microwavable macaroni cheese every now and again.

Hannah Witton

YouTube is full of impressive, driven women, but none more so than Hannah Witton. She started making weekly YouTube videos in 2015 and three years ago made it her full time job. Witton’s aim is to ‘spread positive messages about relationships, body image, gender, and sexuality’ whilst keeping it all light-hearted, funny, and relatable.

Witton hosts a web series called ‘Girl on Girl’, where she chats about women-related topics. She also co-hosts a book club podcast, runs her own weekly radio show, and has published a book. Recently, Witton was hospitalised after a flare up of ulcerative colitis and is now readjusting to life with an ileostomy bag.

Her YouTube and Instagram include inspiring videos and posts about her new body and her recovery. Be blown away by how strong one young woman can be.

Emma Gonzalez

On February 17th of this year, Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the recent Florida high school shooting, gave an impassioned speech at a gun control rally.

In the speech, Gonzalez accused President Trump and other politicians for supporting the National Rifle Association. She promised to continue pressuring lawmakers to change the gun law, and encouraged other young people to speak out against school shootings.

Unsurprisingly, Gonzalez’s speech went viral. She has since spoken out against gun laws at other events. 10 days after creating a Twitter account ‘Emma4Change’, gained one million followers.

To continue to fight in the face of such overwhelming opposition, Gonzalez is an inspiration to everyone to stand up for what is right.

Written by Florianne H.

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