9 Women To Be Inspired By On International Women's Day 2024

In honor of women today and everyday, here are some remarkable women who are making a difference in their communities, big and small.

9 Women To Be Inspired By On International Women's Day 2024

Russian Opposition Leader Yulia Navalaya

Yulia Navalnaya established herself as Russia's new main opposition leader after her husband, Alexei Navany, died in prison, vowing in a powerful speech to continue his fight for a free Russia.

Navalnaya had addressed world leaders at a security conference in Munich, Germany, just hours after news of his death broke, saying she chose to because she knew her husband would do the same if he was in her place.

On Monday, Feb. 19, she shared a new video on Navalny’s social media accounts, saying she will continue her husband’s fight for a free Russia.

“Putin killed the father of my children, Putin took away the most precious thing I had, the closest and most beloved person. But Putin has also taken Navalny away from you," she said.

“All these years, I was happy to stand by Alexei’s side and support him. But today I want to be by your side. Because I know that you have lost as much as I have,” Navalnaya said.

“By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul,” she said.

“But I still have the other half. And it tells me that I have no right to give up,” Navalnaya said, pledging to fight for the “the free, peaceful, happy, beautiful Russia of the future” that he dreamed about.

She concluded her video by echoing Navalny message to the Russian people in the case he is killed.

“It is not shameful to do little; it is shameful to do nothing. It is shameful to be intimidated,” she said.

“I want to build [this Russia] together with you. Exactly as Alexei Navalny envisioned it. Full of dignity, justice and love.” “Keep fighting and do not give up,” Navalnaya said. “I am not afraid and I urge you not to be afraid of anything as well.”

New Zealand Māori Politician Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

21-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke became New Zealand's youngest member of parliament in 170 years.

As part of her first speech to parliament on Dec. 20, Maipi-Clarke, who represents the Hauraki-Waikato Māori seat performed the haka, a traditional Indigenous war dance, and spoke about the rights of New Zealand’s Indigenous communities.

In her speech, Maipi-Clarke said that it had not been her plan to become an MP.

“I was perfectly fine growing my kumara [sweet potato] and learning maramataka [Māori calendar],” she said. “But this house kept tampering with things they shouldn’t be touching. And that’s why I left the māra [garden] to come here.”

“In only a couple of weeks, in only 14 days, this government has attacked my whole world from every corner,” she said. “Health, taiao [environment], wai [water], whenua [land], natural resources, Māori wards, reo [language], tamariki [children], and the right of me and you to be in this country under Te Tiriti [the Treaty of Waitangi],” she said, calling out the new right-wing government’s attempts to institute anti-Māori policies.

“How can I not take anything personally when it feels like these policies were made about me?” she said.

She dedicated her speech to the children of New Zealand, saying that no matter what comes out of the government, she will ensure that they hear them.

“I am at your service in and outside of parliament,” she said. “I will die for you in these chambers. But I will live for you outside these four walls.”

Palestinian Women Journalists Of Gaza

Palestinian women journalists are bravely risking their lives to document Israel's war on Gaza.

From nine-year-old girls to young mothers, they have continued to report despite the constant challenges of searching for food, shelter and safety not just for themselves, but their families and loved ones, in the dire conditions caused by Israel’s relentless bombardment and blockade.

And yet they persist, in the face of loss and heartbreak, to show the world, through their empathetic interviews and reporting, not just despair, but hope.

Their dedication to sharing the stories of Palestinians with the world and their love for the people and the land has pierced the hearts of millions of people around the world.

Nepali Nursing Student Jane Dipika Garett

23-year-old Nepali nursing student, Jane Dipika Garett, became the first plus-size woman to participate at the Miss Universe pageant.

Garrett, who hails from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, took home the crown of Miss Nepal in September and represented her country at the Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador in November.

She is an advocate for mental health and body positivity, saying that all women deserve to be represente in the fashion and beauty industries.

She also speaks openly about having polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a condition that causes hormone imbalance and irregular periods.

Indian Anchor Shreya Dhoundial

Indian anchor, Shreya Dhoundial, classily shut down an Israeli guest who tried to attack her for wearing colors that resembled the Palestinian flag during a live TV interview about Israel's war on Gaza.

Israeli Intel Special Forces representative, Frederic Landau, was invited to the evening program on Mirror Now, an Indian news TV channel.

In an exchange that has since gone viral, Landau attacked Dhoundial for wearing a saree that is green, red, and black – colors seen in the Palestinian flag.

“I can see the colors you are wearing this evening. That’s why I am purposefully wearing blue and white because with all due respect that the green, red, and black that you have purposefully put on this evening, blue and white will always prevail,” Landau said.

Dhoundial responded that her dress should not be interpreted as her support for any side and that the saree belonged to her late grandmother.

“If [my grandmother] was alive, she would have been about 105 years old today. She didn’t know what the Israel-Hamas conflict was,” she replied.

However, Landau then said she should “save it for a different occasion.”

Dhoundiual fired back, saying, “No, Frederic, I will not let you choose what I wear and I will not let you choose what I say. I will say what I have to say and I will speak the truth the way I see it.”

Japanese Former Soldier Rina Gonoi

24-year-old Rina Gonoi sued three male colleagues for sexually assaulting her while she was in the military and won, shattering the taboo of speaking out against gender violence in Japan.

Gonoi said after she joined the military, she faced constant sexual harassment, with male colleagues sexually commenting on her body and breast size and even asking her to give them blow jobs.

Then in August 2021, three male colleagues pinned her to the bed, forcibly spread her legs open and rubbed their crotches against her sexually.

Gonoi said she reported the incident to senior officers but they dismissed her over “lack of evidence”.

After no action was taken, Gonoi eventually decided to leave the military.

In 2022, she took the rare step to go public and share her story on YouTube, drawing attention worldwide and in Japan, where speaking out against gender violence still remains a taboo.

After her video went viral, Japan’s defense ministry issued an apology and said it had dismissed five men in connection to the assault.

It also pressured authorities to launch an official investigation into sexual violence in the military, which uncovered about 1,400 cases of sexual harassment and bullying, most of which had not been reported.

Gonoi then sued the three men, who were found guilty on Tuesday Dec. 12 and sentenced to two-year suspended prison sentences.

“The ruling today proves what they did was a crime – so I want them to face up to it and reflect on their actions. And I hope that this verdict will encourage victims to speak out,” Gonoi told the reporters.

London's Tube Girl Sabrina Bahsoon

22-year-old Sabrina Bahsoon, now widely known as Tube Girl, took TikTok by storm with her selfie videos of her dancing on the London subway, inspiring others with her confidence and "delulu" attitude.

In her videos, she films herself dancing and singing along to music while commuting on the London Tube while swirling the camera around.

Bahsoon – who was raised in Malaysia and moved to the UK to study law – said it all started with a “no” when she asked a passenger to help her film but was refused.

However, she was determined and decided to do it alone.

Bahsoon dances totally unbothered by other passengers and has quickly become an inspirational icon for TikTok users with her confidence and “delulu” attitude.

“I love dancing, I love music. To be honest the Tube itself is not the most glamorous place to spend your time. And because I spend so much time on it, music is my outlet,” Bahsoon told the BBC. “So honestly it’s just what I would do even if I wasn’t filming.”

#TubeGirl then turned into a trend, as others were inspired to film their own version of the video on public transit.

“I think that it’s very common when girls are having fun, when they’re seen as enjoying themselves, and when they take pride in their value, you know, saying ‘oh, I’m beautiful, I’m a girl who’s confident’, a lot of the times people will try to humble you so you can never win,” she said.

“So I think it’s about confidence and it’s about being more comfortable with your authentic self,” she added.

Somalia's First All-Women News Team

bilan media somalia all women news team
Photo via Bilan Media

Bilan Media is breaking boundaries as the first all-women newsroom in Somalia.

The team covers taboo subjects in the country, such as menstrual hygiene, HIV, autism, albinism and much more.

Spain's Women's National Football Team

The Spanish women's football team took home the Women's World Cup trophy for the first time in August 2023 while also starting an important global conversation about violence against women and consent.

Following the win, Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain’s football federation, forcibly kissed Jennifer Hermoso, a woman player, on the lips.

His actions caused an uproar, with women taking to the streets in support of Hermoso, who said she had not consented to the kiss.

Despite mounting calls for him to resign, Rubiales had initially refused, calling the kiss “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consented” at a press conference, where he said he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by “false feminists”, according to AP.

A day later, FIFA suspended Rubiales for 90 days and opened disciplinary proceedings against him.

On Sep. 8, Spanish prosecutors opened an sexual assault case against Rubiales after Hermoso filed a formal complaint.

Finally on Sep. 10, in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, Rubiales wrote that he had tendered his resignation.

Rubiales’ resignation was welcomed by women.

“It’s over,” Spain’s equality minister, Irene Montero, wrote on X, using the slogan that women have been sharing to support Hermoso.

“The feminist country is advancing faster and faster. The transformation and improvement of our lives is inevitable. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women,” Yolanda Díaz, the country’s second deputy prime minister also wrote on X.

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