By: Ally W.

There are many problems surrounding the world right now. While it is easier to sit back and wait on others to solve these problems, it would be more efficient for everyone to help. Thousands of women and girls around the world are taking initiative by starting organizations, movements, and campaigns addressing the issue they want to bring light to. To help inspire you to be the person who changes the world, I have found 6 women and girls around the world who have changed others lives whether it's for acceptance, education, or equality.

1. Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a 23 year old woman from Mingora, Pakistan. In late 2008, the Taliban took down many girls schools and said that girls were not allowed an education. Yousafzai loved going to school and believed that everyone should get to have an education because it is their basic right. In 2009 at age 11, she began to blog  about it anonymously to spread awareness of the problem. On October 9th, 2012, Yousafzai was shot three times on a bus ride to school by the Taliban because she spoke up. She was sent to Birmingham and survived a shot to the head. Once she had recovered, she spoke at the UN about her beliefs. She has been awarded the Order of the Smile, International Children’s Peace prize, and the Nobel Peace Prize. So far, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to win the prize when she was just 17 years old.

2. Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is an 86 year old journalist and spokeswoman from Toledo, Ohio. She writes about women's equality, political events, and progressive social issues. In 1971, Steinam along with two activists, Patrica Carbinet and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, created Ms. Magazine which was a liberal feminist section of the New York Times. Then in 1972, Ms. Magazine separated from New York Times and became independent. Gloria Steinem formed the National Women's Political Caucus, a group that helps women and pro-equality leaders get into office with Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm. When Steinem was 52 years old, she found out she had breast cancer. She went through a lumpectomy (a surgery where the lump of cancer is removed from the breast before spreading) and radiation. She is now cancer-free. Gloria Steinem has founded many feminst organizations and alliances throughout her life. She has written books like I Know this to be True, Marilyn, Revolution from Within and My Life on the Road.

3. Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, a woman from The Bronx, New York, is a sexual assault activist. Burke grew up poor and underprivileged . She was sexually assaulted and raped throughout her childhood. In 2003, she founded the Just Be Inc. for the welfare of Black girls. She worked with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement which works with high schools in Georgia to inspire the youth to become the next leaders of our world.  In 2006, Burke started the “Me Too” foundation to raise understandings on sexual assault. As stated by the New York Times, the Me Too movement has helped hundreds of women to speak up and say that they have been assaulted. 

4. Manasi Pradhan 

Manasi Pradhan is an Indian women’s rights activist from Banapur, India. She was born into a low income family in 1962 . Pradhan earned a degree, becoming the first person in her village to earn a degree. In 2009, she founded the Honour for Women National Campaign, a movement that strives to end violence towards Indian women. She is also the founder of Nirbhaya Vahini, a volunteer unit to help stimulate public opinion, and OYSS Women, a non-profit organization to help women empower Indian women. She is a part of the International Governing of World Women Organization and the Inquiry Committee of National Commission for Women. 

5. Marley Dias

Marley  Dias is a 15 year old activist and writer. Dias noticed the lack of Black main characters in her favorite books. At age 10 Dias began a campaign named #1000BlackGirlBooks. The objective of this campaign was to get 1000 books with the main characters as Black girls so she could donate them to different communities. She has now collected over 12,000 books. Dias has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women, The Forbes Women's Summit, United Nations Girl Up, Inbound, and many others. Dias was one of the most influential teens of 2018.

6. Alexya Salvador 

Alexa Salvador is a 39 year old trans activist from Mairipora, Brazil. Salvador held the first LGBTQ+ friendly mass in Cuba in the year of 2017. She preaches about God accepting the LGBTQ+ community. In 2018, she was on the ballot for Brazil’s October elections in the Socialism and Liberty Party. Salvador serves as the vice president of the Association of Homotransaffective Families, a teacher, and a Reverend. She is also a mother of two, and she was the first trans person to adopt kids in Brazil. 

All of these women have one thing in common: they have inspired many people around the world. They have the courage and the heart to stand up for what they believe in. Even a little contribution helps the people in this world. Donating to charities, bringing awareness to a situation by using social media, and using your voice to speak with and for others are all ways to help others.

“Good things take time.”

-John Wooden


Julie. “Alexya Salvador.” Illustrated Women in History, 14 Mar. 2020, 

Kettler, Sara. “Malala Yousafzai.”, A&E Networks Television, 8 Sept. 2020, 

Malala Yousafzai – Biographical. Nobel Media AB 2020. Sat. 19 Sep 2020. <>

“Manasi Pradhan.”, 

Marley Dias, 25 Apr. 2020, 

McGrath, Maggie. “From Activist To Author: How 12-Year-Old Marley Dias Is Changing The Face Of Children's Literature.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 June 2017, 

Michals, Edited by Debra. “Gloria Steinem.” National Women's History Museum, 

Worthen, Meredith. “Tarana Burke.”, A&E Networks Television, 19 June 2020, 

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