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 11 months ago
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. 12 months ago
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 12 months ago
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. 12 months ago
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. 12 months ago
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 12 months ago
The first British woman to climb Everest :) 12 months ago
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 12 months ago
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 12 months ago
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 12 months ago
This 14 year old girl recently created a petition supported by nearly 25,000 people that was delivered to Seventeen magazine. The petition “Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” asked for the magazine to print one unaltered photo spread in each issue. For a 14 year old, that’s pretty damn special and I wholeheartedly support her.
“Here’s what lots of girls don’t know. Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.” Julia Bluhm 12 months ago
Genuinely funny. One of the very few successful female comediennes. Champion :) 12 months ago
For her roles as strong females! Who doesn’t want to cheer her along in the epic “Get away from her you bitch!” moment in Alien.
“I worked hard and made my own way, just as my father had. And just, I’m sure, as he hoped I would. I learned, from observing him, the satisfaction that comes from striving and seeing a dream fulfilled.”
Sigourney Weaver 12 months ago
I won’t jump on the band wagon here: I’ll admit the first I heard of Fatima Whitbread was on “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!”
She broke the world javelin record in the 1986 European Championships and went on to be crowned World Champion a year later. She took part in “I’m A Celebrity” when she was in her fifties (not an easy task) and is the only famous person I know who can come across as maternal, but equally not as a woman that you would mess with. 12 months ago
Apart from being the FIRST British Olympian to win double gold, since retiring Kelly Holmes has also established “On Camp with Kelly” to support female middle-distance runners. 12 months ago
US astronaut who was the first female pilot of a space shuttle and the first female shuttle commander in 1995. Space and Sciency stuff? Not. Just. For. Boys. 12 months ago
Marie Curie and her husband developed ways to separate radium from radiation leading to medical practices still used today to save hundreds of lives: such as chemotherapy. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics in 1903 and again for chemistry in 1911.
I think female role models in science are so important because I still feel that science is considered a ‘boy’s’ subject, which in this day and age is just silly, especially when considering women like Marie Curie.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie 12 months ago
One for the girl geeks! I love that she shows girls everywhere that you can be a girl AND a geek and be damn good at both. Especially so because she’s gorgeous but doesn’t fit with society’s view of what beauty is since I find it very unlikely that she will be sporting blonde hair dye and a TOWIE tan any time soon. Level up :) 12 months ago
The first lady for civil rights. Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 Alabama. This led to her arrest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
-Rosa Parks 12 months ago
Founder of the Body Shop and Body Shop Foundation, supporting human and environmental projects worldwide and working with organisations such as Green Peace to clean up the planet. Not only a role model of how women CAN be financially successful on a massive level, but how a person can make a real difference to the world around them.
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” – Anita Roddick 12 months ago
I’m not the most Catholic of people but who doesn’t love Mother Theresa! Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with those who need it most.
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.
Mother Teresa” 12 months ago
I’ll admit I’m guilty to absent-mindedly miming to Poker face on the bus or having a sly dance to Alejandro. But I don’t feel that Lady Gaga is a role model just because of her (awesome) music.
Her open and honest support of the LGBT community and stand against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell instantly made me warm to her as well as her determination to always stand for being who you are. Loves to Mama Monster <3
“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
― Lady Gaga 12 months ago
My first taste of Caitlin Moran was when I was perusing WHSmith waiting for a train (How I spend a lot of my time) and I noticed her book “How to be a Woman”. I was intrigued so bought it and read cover to cover loving every single word. It was this book that inspired me to become more active (and vocal) as a modern feminist and I think she really is an inspiration.
“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”
― Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman
“Batman doesn’t want a baby in order to feel he’s ‘done everything’. He’s just saved Gotham again! If this means that Batman must be a feminist role model above, say, Nicola Horlick, then so be it.”
― Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman 12 months ago