In honor of March being Women’s History Month, here’s a list of 10 inspiring women you may not have heard of, but are definitely people you should know about.
- Nguyen is an activist, entrepreneur, and CEO. She graduated from Harvard in 2013. After college she took a job working at the US Department of State in Washington D.C. and founded a non-profit called Rise that seeks to protect the civil rights of sexual assault survivors. Nguyen led a campaign through Rise to pass the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, which establishes a federal code of statutory rights for survivors of sexual assault and rape. The act passed unanimously in 2016. In the years following, along with numerous other honors, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in activism, included in the Forbes 30 under 30 and Time 100 Next lists, and awarded the Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award.
- Burke is a civil rights activist from The Bronx, New York. In 2006 she founded the Me Too Movement, which went viral in 2017 after actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it in relation to the newly publicized Weinstein abuse allegations. Burke established her own nonprofit in 2003, an empowerment program for young black girls called Just Be. In 2017 she was named Time’s Person of the Year, along with several other prominent female activists Time referred to as “The Silence Breakers.” Currently Burke is the senior director of Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, New York.
- Hu is a Chinese journalist and businesswoman. In 2004 she graduated from Zhejiang University City College with a bachelor’s degree in communications. After college she worked as a journalist and entrepreneur. In 2016 Hu launched Mobike, which would become the largest bike sharing company in the world with over eight million bicycles in circulation across the world, before selling the company in 2018 for 2.7 billion American dollars.
- Colvin, a British-American foreign correspondent, made a name for herself as a reporter covering conflict in the Middle East. In 1999 on an island in the south pacific called East Timor, she helped to save 1500 women and children who were trapped in a compound under siege by Indonesian militant forces. With the assistance of a United Nations force, Colvin stood by them while reporting the story before they all were evacuated after four days. She lost her eye in 2001 after being hit by a grenade during an ambush in Sri Lanka. Afterwards she began to wear an eyepatch, which eventually became her signature look. In February of 2012, while covering the siege of Holms during the Syrian Civil War, Colvin was assassinated by the Syrian government.
Daphne Caruana Galizia
- Galizia was a Maltese investigative journalist. She was well-known for exposing corrupt local politicians and other public figures, including linking several prominent Maltese politicians to the Panama Papers in 2017. Galizia regularly reported for the Malta Sunday Times and the Malta Independent, as well as on her controversial personal blog called Running Commentary. In October of 2017, Galizia was killed in a car bombing. Her death ultimately triggered a political crisis that resulted in the 2020 resignation of former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat after several of his associates became suspects in the case.
- In 2014, Davis made her name through a series of Little League World Series firsts. At thirteen years old she was not only the first African-American girl to play, she was also the first girl to pitch a game, winning in a 8-0 shut-out, in the history of the Little League World Series. The jersey she wore for the winning game was donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Davis then went on to become the first Little League player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was also included in Time Magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014. As of 2020, Davis plays 2nd base in softball for Hampton University in Philadelphia, PA.
- Hallisey won first prize in the 2015 Google Science Fair for creating a rapid, low-cost, portable Ebola test, earning a $50,000 education scholarship. She became inspired to help fight Ebola in 2014 while following reports of the West African outbreak. Now 22, Hallisey is currently in her final year of undergraduate study at Stanford University.
- Copeny is a youth activist from Flint, Michigan best known in the media as “Little Miss Flint”. In 2016, when she was eight years old, Copeny wrote a letter to Barack Obama that called attention to the water crisis in her hometown. After receiving her letter, Obama visited Flint to see the devastation caused by the lead contamination in the water system. After visiting, he declared a federal state of emergency and allocated $100 million dollars to help Flint clean up their water supply. Ultimately, it was not enough to solve the crisis – to this day Flint’s water supply remains contaminated with dangerous levels of lead. Now 13, Copeny remains a prominent voice in Flint’s fight for clean water.
- Ali is a 21 year old Yemeni activist best known for her work fighting to end child marriage. In 2008 she became the youngest divorcee in the world. At the age of nine Ali was forced into an arranged marriage with a man in his thirties who abused and raped her. She escaped two months after the wedding and sought divorce. In 2010 she published a book chronicling her ordeal, but under Yemeni law the publishers could not pay Ali directly. Instead they agreed to fund her education by paying $1000 monthly to her father, but after publication her family kicked her out and withheld the money. She remarried in 2014 and is a mother of two girls. Her activism has inspired the annulment of many other child marriages across the world.
- Santos is a literary activist best known for her work fighting to keep bookstores in New York City borough the Bronx. After the Bronx’s last bookstore closed in 2016, Santos opened her own independent bookstore and bar called The Lit Bar in 2019. As of 2020 it remains the only bookstore in the Bronx, serving a borough with nearly 1.5 million residents.