International Women’s Day 2019

In celebration of this year's International Women's Day we're highlighting some of the greatest women of the 21st Century. See if you agree with our list - are there any others you think should be included? I'm sure we've missed some greats, so let us know and we'll add your nominations.

So in no particular order...

Nobel Peace Prize winner: Nadia Murad

Founder of Nadia's Initiative, an organization dedicated to helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities. In 2018 she won the Nobel Peace Prize or her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

First African-American First Lady: Michelle Obama

As First Lady, Michelle Obama campaigned for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating. Her influence continues as she works to promote equal representation of women within the workplace and politics. 

Africa's first female president: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former president of Liberia and the first female president of Africa. Her political stance is greatly pro-women and anti-corruption, winning her a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 and the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in 2017.

Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner: Malala Yousafzai

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner of all time, Malala Yousafzai, has become an icon in the battle for girls’ rights. At the age of 15, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her for demanding an education for herself and other girls. 

First African-American female billionaire: Oprah Winfrey

The first African-American female billionaire, continues to have a significant influence over American culture whilst performing a wide range of roles including media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She performed a key role in the emergence of Barack Obama as a presidential candidate and continues to be politically active. 

Enegy entrepreneur: Inna Braverman

Co-founder of Eco Wave Power, a company that is using the power of oceanic waves to produce clean energy. Braverman designed and created a commercially feasible wave energy plant in Gibraltar that supplies 15% of the British territory's electricity. Braverman, who survived the Chernobyl nuclear accident when she was an infant, opened her first power plant in Jaffa, Israel, when she was just 26 years old.

World's first billionaire author: J.K. Rowling

Emerged from relative poverty to become the world's first billionaire author as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy book series, selling 400 million copies around the world and published in 55 languages. In 2007 she was a runner-up as Time magazine's person of the year.

First female Oscar-winning Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Made history in 2008 when she became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Hurt Locker. Her other films include Near Dark, Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty and Detroit. She was also included in 2010's Time 100 list of most influential people of the year.

Billionaire philanthropist: Melinda Gates

One of the most powerful philanthropists in the world. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's largest private charitable organization, with a trust endowment of $40 billion. The foundation is addressing issues such as education and poverty, and Gates has focused particularly on women's rights.

Award-winning journalist: Yoani Sanchez

A Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government. Time magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that "under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech".

Gold-winning Paralympian: Ellie Simmonds OBE

A British Paralympian swimmer who came to national attention when she competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning two gold medals for Great Britain, despite being the youngest member of the team, at the age of 13. At the Lonon 2012 games she won another two golds, including setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle A further gold medal followed at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, this time setting a world record for the 200m medley.

Who else should be on this list? Let us know and we'll add your nominations.

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