I could not write about all of the women who have inspired me in some way throughout my life without first mentioning the women closest to me. My mother for many reasons but mostly because she instilled in me one of the most important things I learned growing up; respect. Having respect for myself and others and always making sure others have respect for me. I will forever be thankful to her for teaching me that. My friends who have been with me for years, who between them have been through so much but continue to inspire and surprise me on a regular basis.
There have been many unbelievable women throughout history but I will only mention a few. Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for dedicating their lives to the women’s rights movement, including campaigning for women to have the right to vote. Susan for getting arrested for voting illegally and Elizabeth for taking the word “obey” out of the marriage oath when she wed her husband and for keeping her own surname. They also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, and founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Mary Robinson for what she did for Ireland throughout her time in government and as President and for dedicating her life to campaigning for human rights.
In the last few years there have been a lot of women who have inspired me for a variety of reasons. Michelle Obama for showing women everywhere that just because you have a successful and powerful husband doesn’t mean all you can aspire to be is ‘arm candy’, she is successful and powerful in her own right. Malala Yousafzai a 14 year old who was shot mercilessly because she openly campaigned for girls to have the right to an education.
Last but not least the women that inspire me most are the women who are all around me; working for rape crisis centers’ and other similar organizations, writing for feminist blogs, marching in slutwalks and speaking out against violence against women, everyday sexism, street harassment and rape culture. Everyday women that strive for a better and safer world.