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On International Women's Day, the 24 women who daily inspire Josefinas
International Womens Day 24 Inspirational Women

Today is the International Women's Day, a date marked by the United Nations in 1975, which commemorates the contribution of women throughout history in the fight for gender equality.

It all began on March 8th, 1857, in New York, when a group of textile workers organized a small march to demand better working conditions. Half a century later, in 1908, the event repeated itself, but, this time, around 15,000 women gathered in a massive organized protest demanding fewer working hours, better wages, the end of child labor, and the right to vote.

To celebrate such a special date, we highlight 24 women who have preceded us, who have marked us, who surround us and inspire us daily.

These women are actresses, journalists, athletes, entrepreneurs, singers, political leaders, comedians, fashion icons, activists, but, above all, women who use their voice courageously and fight for a culture of equality between men and women.

Happy International Women's day!

Audrey Hepburn

We've been Audrey Hepburn fans from the start! Not just because she was a fashion and film icon in the '60s, but because of everything she's earned and dreamed for herself and for others.

As a child, she survived World War II, and, from 1989, she devoted herself to various UNICEF causes, inspiring the path of future generations.

Misty Copeland

Misty is an example of a strong woman! She was the first black woman to be the leading dancer of the renowned American Ballet Theatre, one of the most important ballet companies in the world.

She had a difficult childhood, being raised by a single mother, and only seeing her talent recognized at the age of 13. Today, Misty is a role model and the face of the fight for racial and socioeconomic diversity in the dance world.

Grace Kelly

We can't talk about elegance and sophistication without mentioning Grace Kelly! The iconic and ageless Hollywood star of the '50s, who later became the Princess of Monaco, was the winner of two Oscars, three Golden Globes, two BAFTA Awards, one Bambi, among many other awards for her wonderful cinema performances!

Despite her tragic death, at the age of 52, in 1982, Grace remains the 13th woman on the list of the greatest classic Hollywood movie stars of all time.

Nina Simone

Nina Simone is an icon of American Music and one of the most extraordinary artists of the 20th century. From the beginning of her musical career, she used her voice as a form of activism, always confident and determined. She fought against social injustice her whole life, even if it caused her problems for her career, at a deeply racist and troubled time in the United States.

Nina Simone inspired women to love each other as they are, regardless of their origin, skin tone, traits, and social constraints of female beauty.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was the first afro-descendant woman to hold the Office of First Lady of the United States, but represents much more than a political office, for women around the world.

Michelle is a symbol of equality, freedom, strength, hope, and feminism that continues to make us believe in the power that each of us can have in our own way.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle is a strong and modern woman. From a successful Hollywood actress to Duchess of Sussex, Meghan never ceased to assume herself as a confident woman, to fight for gender equality, and to defend feminist ideals.

At the age of 11, Meghan already showed a lot of determination and an attentive view of the world. After watching a TV commercial by Procter and Gamble, young Meghan wrote a letter to several entities denouncing the sexism in advertising. With this act of courage, she managed to change the slogan.

Since 2017, she works with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and participates in several actions to raise awareness for women's rights.

Tyler Haney

Tyler Haney is an entrepreneurial woman from the digital and the business world.

In 2014, at the age of 25, when she was still a college student, she proposed to create a brand of sports clothing that would combine to be feminine and athletic, a unique concept until then. That's how Outdoor Voices was born, the brand of sports clothing that we all want to wear, even if we're not sports fans.

Jessica Alba

Jessica is proof that we can be anything we want to be.

Not only is she a successful actress, she has also become a brilliant businesswoman. She created the Honest Company Foundation, a company that promotes ethical consumption, and today she runs an empire valued at over 1.7 billion euros.

In recent years, she has been denouncing the dark side of being a woman in Hollywood and has confessed that she has been the victim of harassment throughout her career.

Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is an American entrepreneur who, at the age of 22, decided to set up a store on eBay, where she sold vintage clothing — Nasty Gal. In 2012, this business was named as one of the fastest growing companies ever and earned her titles such as America's Richest Self-Made Woman.

However, not everything was good in Sophia's path. In 2016, ten years after its founding, Nasty Gal declared bankruptcy. If Sophia's rise is incredible, the way she stood up is even more extraordinary: after a defeat, and with her head held high, she created Girl Boss in 2017, a female community whose mission is to redefine the success of women and encourage them on their personal and professional paths.

Emily Weiss

Emily began her journey as an entrepreneur still interning at American Vogue, but it was in September 2010 that she launched the blog “Into the Gloss”, an online community where she wrote about beauty products and routines, searching for conversation and feedback exchange with, and among, her readers. When her project went on to have 10 million monthly visits and great external recognition, Emily abandoned her position at Vogue and went on to devote herself entirely to her business.

In 2014, she created the make-up brand Glossier which, in just over five years, has become one of the most popular make-up brands in the world, forcing the industry to rethink and re-adapt.

In 2019, Emily Weiss was part of TIME 100 Next, a list created by Time magazine that highlights 100 rising stars that are changing the future of business, entertainment, sport, politics, science, health, and more.

Whitney Wolfe

Whitney Wolfe is an American businesswoman full of woman power!

She co-founded the Tinder application, one of the most popular dating apps of the day, but left the company after being sexually harassed. Tired and saturated from the offensive comments made by men in these applications, in 2014 Whitney founded Bumble with the mission of giving confidence to women. In this application, women always take the first step — men cannot send the first message; the power is theirs.

In 2016, Bumble was the winner of the Best Dating App, and, by the end of 2018, it had reached more than 47 million users and an annual revenue of $175 million.

The application also has a fund dedicated to investing in founding women. Serena Williams is one of the investors.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. In addition to all the prizes collected in sports, Serena has written two books, participated in several episodes of television series, and created the Serena Williams Foundation, which promotes access to quality education for children whose families have been victims of violent crimes.

She has been a spokesperson for several female causes, fighting sexism in sport and financial abuse as a form of domestic violence.

Since 2017, she has been the ambassador of the Purple Purse Foundation, which is dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence through the financial autonomy of women.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl is an American businesswoman and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook (the second rank in the company hierarchy) since 2008, being the first woman to occupy one of the most powerful positions in cyberspace.

In 2012, she was voted by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in the world and the 10th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Sheryl Sandberg is also the author of the book Lean In, published in 2013, which focuses on the value and strength of women in the business world and leadership.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States for 12 years. Married to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she was the most widely spoken of First Ladies for a long time, for having revolutionized the White House.

She has always refused to play a passive role alongside the president, her husband, and gave a voice to the causes she believed in. For the first time, America and the world watched a woman actively participate in American politics.

She fought for Human Rights, the rights of children and women, and spoke openly about these issues to the media. She worked in the league of voting women and, after her husband's death, retired from public life but continued to serve as chairman of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

She went down in history as a great humanist, who dedicated her life to trying to build a fairer society!

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is worshiped worldwide as a writer, a journalist and an activist. Considered the “mother of feminism”, she is a source of inspiration for all women, thanks to her incessant fight for equal rights, which she has carried out since the '60s.

Throughout her life, she reported several cases of sexism and created the feminist magazine Ms. Magazine, in the early '70s, a magazine that shaped modern-day feminism by being a means of inspiration for change.

At the age of 85, she supports the Time's Up movement and is part of several protests against Trump management.

Indira Ghandi

Indira Gandhi was the first woman to hold the position of prime minister in India, where she intervened in military decisions in the war between India and Pakistan in 1971.

In a patriarchal Indian society, she has shown herself to be a leader with great political ambition and proved that women are capable of leading battle fronts, being a milestone in feminist history.

During the 18 years she ruled India, she used the slogan “Abolish Poverty” and promoted several campaigns to eradicate the extreme corruption and misery experienced in India at the time.

She was killed at the age of 67 by two guards who were part of her personal security.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was the woman who challenged the deeply racist American Society of the '50s, refusing to give up her bus seat because of the color of her skin.

She, thus, became a symbol of female power and the fight against racism, and later triggered the protests led by Martin Luther King Jr., which put an end to racial segregation in the United States.

In 1987, she founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, dedicated to the development of Detroit's youth. In 1992, she published her autobiography under the title “Rosa Parks: My Story”, despite the great financial difficulties with which she lived.

In 1999, she was awarded the Gold Medal of the U.S. Congress, the highest honor the U.S. grants to a civilian, by the hands of then-President Bill Clinton.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen is one of the most charismatic faces on American television and one of the most influential female personalities in the United States.

She often uses her voice and humor to speak openly on issues such as gender equality, racial discrimination and LGBTQ+ rights.

In 1997, she was named “Woman of the year” by Time magazine.

Chiara Ferragni

Chiara is considered one of the world's most influential bloggers, businesswomen and it girls. She has over 18 million followers on Instagram and, in 2009, she founded The Blond Salad, a fashion blog that has become a true global business.

Currently, she also has owns a clothing, footwear and accessories brand - The Chiara Ferragni Collection. Her success is due to a strategy and a business model so carefully thought out, they became a case study at Harvard.

She assumes herself as a feminist and argues that women should fight for the right to be whatever they want, that they should always be the CEOs of their own life.

Emma Watson

Emma is an actress, model, and gender equality activist.

Since 2014, she has been the UN Ambassador for Women and promotes the HeForShe movement, which acts as an invitation to “one half of humanity supporting the other half, for the benefit of all”. It is one of the most powerful initiatives launched so far and it argues that the fight for gender equality should not be just about women.

In September 2014, at the presentation of the project at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Emma Watson voiced a strong, energetic and emotional speech that stopped the world and went viral.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala is a Pakistani activist and was the youngest person in the world to receive a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 for her fight for the education of young women in Pakistan.

At the age of 11, she gave her first riot speech at a local press club in Pakistan. Her words ran across the country and the world, and Malala was recognized for her activism. With the media attention she received, she was nominated for national and international prizes and, on a day when she was heading to the school by bus, she was attacked in the head by a Taliban who almost took her life.

Feminist and Muslim, she is known for the famous phrase “a child, a teacher and a pen can change the world”, which she gave during a speech at the United Nations in 2013, at the age of 16.

Today, Malala studies philosophy, economics, and politics at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and is dedicated to telling stories of young people forced to leave her country that she meets on visits to various refugee camps, from Southeast Asia to Latin America.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone is a successful American actress, and winner of several awards for Best Actress, such as an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

Emma fights for gender issues and assumes that the pay gap between Hollywood men and women is still a strong reality.

At the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony, in 2018, Emma appeared on the red carpet dressed in black and accompanied by Billie Jean King, the women's tennis legend of the '70s, who still fights for a greater female representation in sports.

Emma is also one of the faces of the #MeToo protest against producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of sexual harassment.

Me

Because each of us has her own superpower, today is a day to celebrate ourselves, to value our strength and our achievements!

She

In addition to these 22 women and each of us, there's one more of whom we can't forget: her.

She is our friend, our cousin or aunt, our coworker, and leader of her own path.

She is the woman you see every day on the street. She is the woman who serves your coffee every morning. She is the CEO of that multinational corporation. She is the woman who chose to be a full-time mom. She is the woman who decided not to have children. She is the woman who doesn't like to wear makeup. She is the woman who doesn't leave the house without styling. She is the woman who wears flats every day. She is the woman who always wears high heels.

She represents all the women around us who, each in their own way, inspire us to continue to fight and pave the road to equality!

#ProudToBeAWoman

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