One of my favourite women of music. Frontwoman of Blondie (so named after cat calls that she used to get). Blondie have performed many benefit concerts in support of AIDS charities, a Broadway show (“Teaneck Tanzi”) and poetry readings.
“The only place left for rock to go is toward more girl stars. There’s nothing left for men to do. There’s bound to be more male stars, but they can’t express anything new.” – Debbie Harry
Jasvinder Sanghera grew in Derby and ran away from home at 15 in order to avoid an arranged marriage. When her elder sister, terrified of her abusive husband, killed herself in 1987, Sanghera set up Karma Nirvana, a charity that has helped thousands of women through refuges and an “honour” violence helpline. As a campaigner, Sanghera recently criticised the government’s forced marriage protection orders – introduced in 2008 and under which young people are able to apply for legal protection from their families – saying they do not go far enough, and that breaches of the orders are rarely followed up.
Forced marriage and honour violence are a big issue currently in the United Kingdom and many other countries, and I believe charities like this do wonderful work, which is why I view Jasvinder Sanghera as a female role model.
Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein was arrested for wearing trousers in 2009. She was beaten in a police van and held with 12 other trouser-wearing women who had also been arrested.
Ten of the women pleaded guilty and were given 10 lashes and fined, but Hussein asked to go to trial. As a press officer for the UN, she was offered immunity from prosecution but she resigned so that she could face the charge, inviting women’s rights campaigners, protesters and journalists to her trial – and where her sentence could be 40 lashes.
Hussein wasnot sentenced to flogging, but was fined and briefly imprisoned when she refused to pay; other womenwho haven’t been given international attention have since been flogged under public decency laws. Despite death threats, Hussein continues to speak out about women’s rights in Sudan.
"I am not afraid ... It is my chance to defend the women of Sudan." - Lubna Hussein
At 19 months old, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people.
I believe that Helen Keller is a role model for women and those with a disability. She not only lead a fulfilling and successful life, but spent this life helping others.
Boudicca was married to Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni people of East Anglia. When the Romans conquered southern England in AD 43, they allowed Prasutagus to continue to rule. However, when Prasutagus died the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property of the leading tribesmen. They are also said to have stripped and flogged Boudicca and raped her daughters.
She began a rebellion and led her own tribe and other to defeat the Roman Ninth Legion and destroy the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. They went on to destroy London and Verulamium (St Albans). Thousands were killed. Finally, Boudicca was defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus. Many Britons were killed and Boudicca is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture.
Throughout history, and even (disturbingly) in modern war, women are sexually victimised. In many developing countries, rape and abduction are considered acts of modern warfare. Boudicca is a historical shining example that proves that women CAN be powerful and they CAN fight back.
Katie Piper is a presenter and the founder of The Katie Piper Foundation. In 2008, she was the victim of a rape and acid attack that left her with severe facial disfigurement. I find it inspirational that in a society so focused on appearance, she is providing such a positive role model by learning to be happy and not defined by her appearance. True Beauty.
“I am proof that disfigurement doesn’t have to destroy lives” – Katie Piper
The first British woman to climb Everest :)
Trieu Thi Trinh was born in Son Trung village in Vietnam in 222AD. During that time the Qin dynasty of China invaded from the north and captured Vietnam. Trieu was orphaned and lived with her brother, who treated her cruelly as a slave. At 20, she saw the Chinese treating the nation the same way her brother treated her. She escaped to the hills and set up a base in the jungle.
Trieu raised an army of a thousand rebels against the Chinese and her rebellion was one of the most successful. Her army beat the Chinese at over 30 battles. When going to battle she wore golden armor and carried two daggers while riding on an elephant. The Chinese soldiers were so afraid of her that they said to themselves, “it would be easier to fight a tiger than the lady queen.”
In 248 A.D., the Chinese army fought the rebel army and won. Trinh was so disappointed that she committed suicide by jumping into a river. A holiday honors her bravery and willingness in Vietnam. She is known as the Vietnamese Joan of Arc.
“I will not resign myself to the lot of women who bow their heads and become concubines. I wish to ride the tempest, tame the waves, kill the sharks. I have no desire to take abuse.” Trieu Thi Trinh
I found this when I was looking for a picture for the Suffragettes image!
Kishida Toshiko (1863-1901) was a Japanese feminist who once served as a lady in waiting to the Empress. She went on to become a talented public speaker who was imprisoned for her beliefs and for speaking out against her country. She said that a civilized country should be ashamed to respect men and yet despise women. Those who she inspired went on to become Japan’s first active feminists.
“If it is true that men are better than women because they are stronger, why aren’t our sumo wrestlers in the government?” – Kishida Toshiko
Not so much as a single female role model but a whole movement of female role models. Without these women, I wouldn’t be able to vote, nor would around half of the population of Britain.
“Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us.”
Christabel Pankhurst, Suffragette