As it’s International Women’s Day 2020, I wanted to share with you who I think are the most inspirational women of the last 100 years.
Not all of these inspirational women are famous. Some you might have heard of, and some you probably won’t have done, but that’s the point of this post : to share my favourite inspirational women.
Famous inspirational women
I have to start with Emmeline. As leader of the Suffragettes, she demanded equality for women. Her efforts led to (some) women finally being eligible to vote in 1918. Which paved the way for all women to gain the right to vote.
Although she wasn’t perfect, and neither were some of her methods, she was utterly fearless.
What a woman. After being denied a place at University in Poland because she was a woman, she refused to give up and moved to Paris instead. Marie Curie was an incredible Scientist. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to ever win two and the only person ever to win a Nobel Prize for two different scientific subjects.
Marie Curie developed the theory of radioactivity, developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and discovered two elements. She also developed mobile radiography units so X-rays could be taken at Field Hospitals during the Second World War.
Her research has directly led to the development of radiotherapy to help treat cancer.
You’d be forgiven for never having heard about this inspirational woman, but you’ve more than likely heard about her legacies : Bluetooth and WiFi!
Hedy was an actress and a scientist, whose work during the Second World War on developing a radio guidance system for allied torpedoes led to the development of two of our most important technologies.
Who said you can’t have beauty and brains?
Another woman who contributed massively to the War effort! Baroness Trumpington was a code breaker at Bletchley Park.
She was later appointed as the UK Representative to the UN, where it was her role to promote women’s equality, marriage and divorce, healthcare, child-rearing, and human rights.
Although I don’t agree with a lot of her personal opinions, I have much respect for her just because she flipped the bird to Lord King of Bridgwater in the House of Lords in 2011 because he called her old. Up yours!
Yes, you might not have heard of her either, but she is one of my inspirational women because she discovered the double helix structure of DNA. Using crystallography and X-ray diffraction, she was able to photograph DNA and show that there were 2 strands firing a double helix.
Unfortunately, due to a falling out with one of her colleagues, two Male scientists : Crick & Watson, have been credited with discovering this. Even though they used Rosalind’s original photographs sent to them by the colleague she had fallen out with to support their model of DNA. RUDE!!
Sorry for bombarding you with women you’ve probably never heard of, but this one was the first woman in space! She started off her life as a textiles worker, and rose to the heady heights of space.
As the mother of a possible future female astronaut (Emily) this woman is very important to us! Everybody knows the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin, and the first man on the moon was Neil Armstrong, yet rarely is Valentina ever mentioned!
Are you sensing a theme yet? This woman was the first African Woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Hers was for contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.
I have a lot of love for women who were the first to do something in their field. It paves the way for women of the future to build on their successes and keep pushing through those ceilings.
Sorry not sorry, for another female Nobel Prize winner, but Malala is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at just 17. The Taliban tried to assassinate her in retaliation to her activism for girls’ education in Pakistan. She survived, despite being shot in the head, and is still actively campaigning for worldwide access to education for females.
She’s on my list because of her strength and determination in fighting for what she believes in no matter what the personal cost.
The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born …Malala Yousafzai
What a girl!
Queen Elizabeth II
From ascending to the throne at just 25 and still sitting on it now at almost 94 years of age, Queen Elizabeth has seen and done pretty much everything. I am a Royalist. I love her. Our Queen is now the longest reigning monarch in UK History. Despite the crap that her family keep throwing her way, she battles on regardless, never publicly faltering, always looking immaculate and never telling anyone to just bugger off.
The Queen embodies the British Keep Calm and Carry On mantra. And she is the literal Queen of inspirational women everywhere.
Other women that inspire me
There are so many inspirational women all over the world. We can’t all have Nobel Prizes, actual crowns and kick arse attitude (although that would be nice!).
I am lucky enough to have inspirational women in my family : My Nonna, my Mum, my Aunties, my Sisters, my Cousins and my Daughters.
Every single one of these amazing women have their own battles that they have fought or are continuing to fight.
That’s not to say that their lives aren’t easy. Far from it. But amazingly every time they’ve had a major hurdle in their lives, they’ve got back up stronger. I don’t know how they do it, but they inspire me to keep on going.
I am so lucky to have some amazing women in my life. Again, they kept fighting whatever battles and crap throws at them. Every one supports all the women around them, mentally, emotionally and often physically.
One of these amazing women, empowers her daughter so much that her daughter has empowered my daughter.
Even the one who’s no longer here any more still inspires me to enjoy as much of life as I can, and make as many memories as possible with my children.
Waaaay back in early 2009, I became part of an incredible network of other expectant Mums. We’ve been through so much together in the last 11 years. No matter what the problem or struggle is, they are there, providing wonderful support, guidance and just listening. They’ve helped me through some really shitty times – splitting from my husband, moving country, venturing into single parenting of 4 children between 6 months and 10 years old, even getting me through my 3 week hospital stint when I had sepsis.
The love and respect I have for these women is indescribable.
Inspirational women in the blogging world
Twitter is a weird yet wonderful place. There are definitely some oddballs, but there are also some incredibly inspirational women who support and encourage other women day in day out.
Every one writes passionately, honestly and shares so much of their lives, feelings and struggles. For nothing other than providing support to others who may be going through the same thing.
The whole blogging community is a wonderfully supportive place. But there are some very special women, that keep me going even when I think I should give up.
If you have some time, I’d love for you to check them out.
Claire writes beautifully about the difficulties she has faced since losing her Mum, life with her family and getting ready for her upcoming wedding. She’s open, honest and wonderfully supportive.
Claire was one of the first blogging connections that I made on Twitter, and she always inspires me to keep blogging.
Check out this post about How to Survive Mothers Day after losing your Mum.
I always read her name as Dear Madi, because that’s what she is to me! She always has a kind word to say, and is one of the most supportive women I’ve come across.
I’ve not been following Madi for very long, but in that time she has taught me a lot. Madi gives superb guidance and tips applicable to bloggers of every niche.
She’s also very supportive of women in business.
Check out this post Self-confidence – how to grow it as a woman entrepreneur Because we all need a bit more self-confidence!
Firstly, the thing I love most about Rhiannon, is that she starts every blog post with “Hey Beauties!!” I love that. It’s such a warm, welcoming and positive start to reading any of her posts.
Rhiannon is so open and honest about living with chronic illnesses, but never in a feel-sorry-for-me way. Every post is so positive that you can’t help but feel positive and empowered after reading them.
My absolute favourite bit of her blog is her ‘Cuppa and a chat’ series. It is literally like meeting a few friends for a cuppa and a chat.
Check out the Cuppa and a chat episodes for subjects on any and everything.
Vicki is exactly what she says she is : an honest Mum. She is honest about every single aspect of her life as a businesswoman, a Mumboss and a Mum.
I came across Honest Mum completely by accident, and she is legit my blog-crush.
I have read her book MUMBOSS so many times I could probably quote from it directly. The book is fast becoming my go-to whenever I get stuck, or whenever I need a gentle kick up the arse. The book is incredibly inspiring. Vicki is unbelievably inspiring. And she spreads her inspiration around like confetti.
Vicki’s blog is a veritable treasure trove of support, information, recipes, hints & tips, advice and so much more. My favourite bit is the interviews with Wonderful Women What’s more inspiring than a woman who supports other inspirational women?