13 inspiring women whose strength will empower you this International Women's Day

13 inspiring women whose strength will empower you this International Women's Day

From Serena Williams to our mothers, here are the women that we think deserve to be recognised, loved and celebrated today

Today,  millions around the globe will celebrate the global, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide, while continuing to campaign for gender equality.

We, at Young Post, are celebrating by giving a shout out to the women that inspire and empower us. 


Rose Namajunas, the 25-year-old Lithuanian American who beat undefeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk to become the UFC Women's Strawweight Champion, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets of the year. After becoming champion, she downplayed her accomplishment, saying she's "just a regular person." The definition of humble.

Ben Young, Sub-editor


One of my role models is Nora Ephron. Equally at home directing (Sleepless in Seattle), screenwriting (Julie and Julia), and being a journalist (she broke the news of Bob Dylan's first marriage), she was someone who seemed fated to succeed no matter which path she chose. Her accomplishments are too many to list, but perhaps her greatest skill was her wit. Her writing was urbane, pithy, and relatable, and often all at the same time. Here's a gem: “I don't think any day is worth living without thinking about what you're going to eat next at all times.” Preach it, Ms Ephron.

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Ethel Leckwith from Ken Follett's Century trilogy. She starts out as a housemaid before the first World War and ends up shaping the society as she later becomes a political activist and member of Parliament. She never gives up no matter how desperate the situation seems, and she really shows how a woman from her background can change her destiny through standing by and fighting for what she believes in - in her case, equal rights.

Young Wang, Senior reporter


Serena Williams, who has not only ranked as world number 1 in the singles category of Women's Tennis Association (WTA) over the last 15 years, but she's also won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles; 23 in singles, 14 in doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She also has four Olympic gold medals and biceps bigger than my thighs. It safe to say that Serena has accomplished a lot, and can be a role model to anyone. Lets not forget she also won the Australian Open Finals 2017 while being eight weeks pregnant. 

Alejo Lo, Video producer
 

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One of the women in my life who inspires me is ​my former helper, who took care of me for 10 years when I was little. She is one of the most hard-working people I know and she always managed to stay positive, even in times of real hardship. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her to leave her family behind in the Philippines, and I admire her so much for that, and for all the other sacrifices she's made to help support them. She taught me to love books and singing, tried her best to teach me how to cook, and most importantly taught me to always be kind to others.

Nicole Moraleda, Sub-editor


Barbie. Think about it, Barbie has had more than 50 different professions in her life - from doctor, to model, to astronaut. She's free to choose whether she wants to be single, with her boyfriend Ken, or married. She has sisters and pets she clearly loves, and she has inspired generations of little girls to use their imaginations to create full and vast worlds in their minds. And hey, let's admit it, she has a great shoe collection. 

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The woman I admire the most in the world is my mum. She single-handedly raised three smart, capable women (and me, ha) while juggling several jobs and struggling to make ends meet, and still somehow kept her sanity. Whenever I feel as if life is too much and wish I could simply opt out, I remember she didn't have the choice to opt out, and it helps make me more resilient. I'm so grateful that I was able to grow up with such an amazing female role model, and I really should tell her that more often. 

Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor


Obviously, for everything she's done for women, for people of colour, for education and children's health, at the top of my list is Michelle Obama, but she really does go without saying. 

But I have a special fondness for Dame Agatha Christie beyond the fact she authored some of my favourite books.

She was writing books at a time that the industry was still very much skewed towards men, yet remains the best selling author of all time. What's more, she wrote murder mysteries, starting in the 1910s, a time when such subjects were definitely not supposed to be discussed by young ladies, far less plotted and detailed for public consumption. And while some of her storylines and representations of gender roles are naturally dated, she could write incredible female characters, who were independent, confident, unafraid and inspiring in themselves.
 
Which leads me to a favourite fictional character: Christie's Miss Marple. This elderly lady loves knitting and gardening, and never married; yet is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and - thanks to her natural intelligence, and observational prowess - solving the astonishing number of crimes that take place in her village, that leave the police force's finest minds baffled. She proves that age is nothing but a number, and gender is never a limit. #lifegoals
 

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There are so many different people to choose from, but one woman that had been inspirational for me has to be Leslie Knope from the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation. In the show, Leslie leads her team in running the Parks Department of the modestly sized town of Pawnee in Indiana, United States. 

She's inspirational because of her hard-work and dedication to make her town's parks the best they can be. You can see that she truly cares about her community and the people around her, no matter how idiotic they may be. For me, her determination to get things done and help others is not only a good source of humour, but also very inspirational.
 
Joshua Lee, Intern
 


Politics has traditionally been a man's game. Even today, it's a struggle to name extraordinary female leaders of our time, and Benazir Bhutto definitely remains the most admirable for me.

Not only was she the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, she scaled the ranks in a conservative Muslim state. While in office, Bhutto brought enormous change to the country: she made hunger, housing and health care her top priorities; built schools, and fiercely advocated women's rights, all while facing unrelenting opposition from the Islamic fundamentalist movement. 

Sadly, she would pay for her controversial presence in politics, when her life was cut short by a suicide bomber in 2007. 

Bhutto continues to empower the spirit of every girl who was told that she can never succeed in life. Perhaps this is her greatest legacy.

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Suzanna Arundhati Roy. More often a fan of male authors, I couldn't help but dedicate half of my dissertation to this Indian female wordsmith's novel, The God of Small Things.

She's not just extremely perceptive to humanity and life, the former architect is also extremely logical. With these two qualities combined, she created an extraordinary magical yet realistic story packed with picturesque imagery and poetic metaphors (a reading experience I've not encountered in any other book since). More than just a Booker Prize winner, Roy is a also political activist who fights for human rights and environmental protection. How can we not love the storyteller who never stops to better our world in many different ways?

Nicola Chan, Reporter


Sorghaghtani, a Keraite princess who was Genghis Khan's daughter-in-law was, for a time, the most powerful woman in the world. She is known as the "Mother of Khans" for good reason. In those days women were very independent and Sorghaghtani had the added fortune of being born into a royal family. She was very intelligent, even though she was illiterate (as many people were at the time), and saw the value of a good education.

Her husband died when he was 40, and she was left to raise his children. She made sure each of them were given a good education. But she also viewed the empire her father-in-law created, and had each son learn the main languages from a region. That was a good idea, as one of her grandsons was Kublai, who ended up being the first emperor of China's Yuan dynasty. Her second eldest son Mongke was the fourth khan of the Mongol empire, while her third son, Hulagu conquered much of Western Asia, including Persia.

Susan Ramsay, Editor
 

It might be a cliche answer, but, my mum. 

She had me quite young (at 21 years old, which is young by today's standards) and effectively grew up with me. When my parents divorced, she worked three jobs to keep me in school, and even though she wasn't able to come with me to Australia where I grew up and studied, she worked hard to make sure I didn't grow up feeling like she's not a part of my life. She would rather skip a meal than skip a phone call with me. And even though I lived on the other side of the world, she still managed to teach me lessons I carry with me to this day. She's tough! But her heart was, and is, in the right place and it's only now as I'm older I've learned to appreciate that bit by bit.

When I finally moved back to Hong Kong, an insecure, self-obsessed, unreliable and overly-sensitive young adult - which created a rather extended rough patch for our relationship - she never turned away even though we both tried to once or twice. Her love and resiliance taught us both to come back to each other every time to learn more from each other, and grow togerher as individuals. She taught me to work hard, to always be grateful, and to find strength in myself so I can handle whatever life throws at me. She has so much more forsight as a mother than I will ever have, and if I ever grow to be a kind and decent person, it'll be because of her.

Heidi Yeung, Web editor


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