Most Inspiring Women Worldwide: Global Role Models

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Most Inspiring Women Worldwide: Global Role Models
03 Oct 2023
4 min read

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In a world where women continue to redefine the boundaries of possibility, their stories of triumph echo through the annals of history, creating an indomitable legacy.

This article, titled "Best Inspiring Women Worldwide: Global Role Models," embarks on a journey through the narratives of women who have not just achieved greatness but have become guiding lights for generations.

From science and politics to the arts and activism, these women have shattered glass ceilings, showcasing that gender is no bar to excellence.

As we delve into the lives of these extraordinary individuals, we unravel tales of resilience, intelligence, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Their journeys go beyond personal success; they are beacons of inspiration, illuminating the path toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

The impact of their contributions extends far beyond their individual achievements, shaping a narrative that celebrates the boundless potential of women in every sphere of human endeavor.

In the words of one observer, "Women make the world go round. And while we love to celebrate their achievements during, it’s extra important to keep that support going every other day of the year, too.

That’s why we're sharing the stories of these fantastic women—from the history-makers you’re familiar with to lesser-known names you should have on your radar.

These change-making women are bound to inspire you."

Join us in celebrating these remarkable women who, through their courage and determination, have propelled positive change and left an indelible mark on the global stage.

Women are making significant contributions to society all over the world. They are dismantling obstacles and clearing the path for the generations to come.

From science and technology to arts, politics, and activism, these women have not only excelled in their respective domains but have also become beacons of inspiration for generations to come. 

This article shines a spotlight on some of the most inspiring women globally, highlighting their remarkable contributions across various fields.

Let's delve into the stories of these incredible individuals who have left an indelible mark on the world.

Here is a list of some of the most inspiring women worldwide, who are global role models for their achievements, awards, and recognitions:

Most Inspiring Women Worldwide

Mother Teresa: Catholic Nun and Missionary

Early Life

Mother Teresa, originally named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, entered the world on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, part of the Ottoman Empire at that time, now known as North Macedonia. Born into an Albanian family, she was the youngest of three children. Tragedy struck early in her life when her father, a prosperous businessman, passed away when she was just eight years old.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Mother Teresa

  • Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 in Kolkata, India. The Missionaries of Charity provide care for the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying. They run homes for the dying, orphanages, and leprosy clinics.

  • Mother Teresa was known for her personal care for the sick and dying. She would often wash their feet and feed them with her own hands. She would also spend time listening to their stories and offering them spiritual comfort.

  • Mother Teresa's work was not without controversy. Some critics accused her of promoting suffering and of not doing enough to address the root causes of poverty. However, Mother Teresa's supporters argue that she was a woman of great compassion and that her work made a real difference in the lives of millions of people.

Examples of Mother Teresa's inspiring works:

  • In 1952, Mother Teresa inaugurated the inaugural Home for the Dying in KolkataThe home provides care for people who are terminally ill and abandoned by their families.

  • In 1954, Mother Teresa opened the Nirmal Hriday Home for the Dying, which is also known as the House of the Merciful. The home provides care for people with leprosy.

  • In 1960, Mother Teresa opened the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, which is an orphanage for children who have been orphaned or abandoned.

  • In 1965, Mother Teresa opened the Asha Sadan Home for the Dying, which is also known as the House of Hope. The home provides care for people who are dying from AIDS.

Impact of Mother Teresa's work:

  • Mother Teresa's work has had a profound impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. Her Missionaries of Charity have helped to alleviate suffering and provide care for some of the most vulnerable members of society.

  • Mother Teresa's work has also inspired people to become more involved in their communities and to help those in need. She has shown us that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the world.

Awards and Recognitions of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa's unwavering commitment to humanitarian efforts earned her several prestigious awards and recognitions. In 1979, she was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, a testament to her exceptional contributions to the welfare of humanity. India, her adopted home, bestowed upon her the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honor. The United States recognized her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the nation.

Mother Teresa was a truly remarkable woman who dedicated her life to helping others. Her work has inspired people all over the world and continues to make a difference today.

Also Read: 50 Most Popular Women In The Entire World

Indira Gandhi: Prime Minister of India

Early Life

Indira Gandhi, a pivotal figure in Indian politics, entered the world on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, India. Her early years were immersed in the political ambiance that surrounded her family.

Background

Born to Jawaharlal Nehru, the esteemed leader who would become India's first Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi grew up in an environment deeply entrenched in the struggle for India's independence. Her upbringing was shaped by the ideals of service to the nation.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Indira Gandhi

  • Indira Gandhi played a key role in the Green Revolution, which helped to boost agricultural production in India

  • She also expanded India's industrial base and launched a number of social welfare programs.

  • Gandhi was a strong advocate for secularism and democracy. She played a key role in mediating the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

  • She was also a strong supporter of the Non-Aligned Movement and played a leading role in global affairs.

Examples of Indira Gandhi's inspiring works:

  • In 1966, Gandhi launched the White Revolution, which aimed to increase milk production in India. The program was a success and helped to improve the livelihoods of millions of Indian farmers.

  • In 1971, Gandhi launched the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which provides guaranteed employment to rural workers. The scheme has helped to reduce poverty and unemployment in rural India.

  • In 1974, Gandhi launched the Family Planning Program, which aimed to reduce population growth in India. The program was successful and helped to bring down India's birth rate.

  • Gandhi also played a key role in the creation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968.

Impact of Indira Gandhi's work:

  • Indira Gandhi's work has had a profound impact on India. She helped to modernize the country's economy, improve the lives of its people, and promote democracy and secularism.

  • Gandhi's work has also inspired people around the world to fight for social justice and development. She showed that it is possible to make a difference in the world, even in the face of great challenges.

Awards and Recognitions

The contributions of Indira Gandhi to the nation were acknowledged with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor. Additionally, she was honored with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, a recognition of her efforts to foster global cooperation and understanding.

Indira Gandhi was a truly remarkable woman who dedicated her life to serving her country. Her work has had a lasting impact on India and the world.

Also Read: Top Hottest Models In The World 2023

Christine Lagarde: President of the European Central Bank

Early Life

Christine Lagarde, a prominent figure in global finance, was born on January 1, 1956, in Paris, France. Her early years were marked by academic excellence and a determination to make a meaningful impact on the world.

Background

Lagarde's educational journey took her to the University of Paris X Nanterre, where she pursued studies in law and economics. She continued her academic pursuits at the prestigious Institut d'études politiques de Paris, further honing her expertise in political science.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Christine Lagarde

  • Lagarde played a key role in stabilizing the global economy during the 2008 financial crisis. As Managing Director of the IMF, she helped to provide bailouts to countries that were struggling financially.

  • Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank

  • She also worked to promote international financial cooperation and reform.

  • Lagarde is a strong advocate for gender equality. She has spoken out against sexism and discrimination in the workplace.

Examples of Christine Lagarde's inspiring works:

  • In 2009, Lagarde launched the Financial Sector Assessment Program, which aimed to improve the regulation of the financial system.

  • In 2010, Lagarde launched the G20 Women's Empowerment Principles, which aim to promote gender equality in the workplace.

  • In 2015, Lagarde launched the IMF's Gender Balance Seal, which recognizes companies that are committed to gender equality.

Impact of Christine Lagarde's work:

Christine Lagarde's work has had a profound impact on the global economy and on gender equality. She is a role model for women around the world and has shown that women can achieve great things in any field.

Christine Lagarde is a truly remarkable woman who has dedicated her life to making the world a better place. Her work has had a lasting impact on the global economy and on gender equality.

Awards and recognitions:

Lagarde has been awarded numerous awards for her work in public service and finance. She was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur, France's highest civilian honor, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Rosa Parks: Civil rights activist

Early Life

Rosa Louise McCauley renowned as Rosa Parks, was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Growing up in the racially segregated landscape of the southern United States, she experienced firsthand the injustices and disparities that would later fuel her commitment to the civil rights cause.

Background

As the daughter of farmers, Rosa Parks was rooted in the challenges faced by African Americans in a deeply segregated society. The racial divide of the time shaped her early perceptions and fueled her determination to challenge the status quo.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Rosa Parks

  • Rosa Parks' act of refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955 was a simple act of defiance, but it had a profound impact on the civil rights movement. Her act of courage sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted for over a year and helped to end segregation on public buses in Montgomery.

  • Parks was a member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, which organized the bus boycott. She also worked with other civil rights activists to fight for desegregation and other civil rights reforms.

  • Parks' work has inspired people around the world to stand up for what they believe in, even in the face of adversity. She is a role model for activists and changemakers everywhere.

Examples of Rosa Parks' inspiring works:

  • In 1956, Parks testified in court in support of the Montgomery bus boycott. Her testimony helped to overturn the city's segregation laws.

  • In 1965, Parks participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches. The marches were a major turning point in the civil rights movement and helped to lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

  • In 1987, Parks founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, which provides educational and leadership programs for young people.

Impact of Rosa Parks' work:

  • Rosa Parks' work has had a profound impact on the civil rights movement and on society as a whole. She is a symbol of courage, determination, and the fight for equality.

  • Parks' work has inspired people around the world to stand up for what they believe in, even in the face of adversity. She has shown us that it is possible to make a difference in the world, even if we are just one person.

Awards and Recognitions

Rosa Parks' contribution to the civil rights movement earned her widespread acclaim and recognition. In 1996, she was bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. Posthumously, in 2014, she was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, further solidifying her place in the nation's history.

Her enduring impact is also evident in her induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1983. Rosa Parks' legacy extends beyond personal accolades; it symbolizes the power of individual actions to drive societal change.

Rosa Parks was a truly remarkable woman who dedicated her life to fighting for equality. Her work has had a lasting impact on the civil rights movement and on society as a whole.

Also Read: Who Are The Top Richest Women In The World 2023

Katherine Johnson: Mathematician and NASA scientist

Early Life

Katherine Coleman Goble, celebrated as Katherine Johnson, entered the world on August 26, 1918, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Raised in a nurturing environment, she was the daughter of schoolteachers, instilling in her a love for learning from an early age.

Background

Growing up in the racially segregated West Virginia of the early 20th century, Katherine Johnson faced challenges that fueled her determination to break barriers. Her parents, recognizing her prodigious mathematical talent, nurtured her education, setting the stage for an extraordinary career.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Katherine Johnson

  • Katherine Johnson was a brilliant mathematician who made significant contributions to the space program. She calculated the trajectories for many of the early space missions, including the Mercury and Apollo programs.

  • Johnson's work was essential to the success of these missions. She was able to calculate the trajectories with incredible accuracy, which helped the astronauts safely reach their destinations.

  • Johnson was also a pioneer for women in STEM fields. She worked at NASA at a time when there were very few women in the field. She faced discrimination and prejudice, but she never gave up on her dreams.

Examples of Katherine Johnson's inspiring works:

  • In 1961, Johnson calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard's Mercury mission, which was the first American astronaut to go into space.

  • In 1962, Johnson calculated the trajectory for John Glenn's Mercury mission, which was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

  • In 1969, Johnson calculated the trajectory for the Apollo 11 mission, which landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.

Impact of Katherine Johnson's work:

  • Katherine Johnson's work has had a profound impact on space exploration. She helped to pave the way for astronauts to safely reach space and return home.

  • Johnson's work has also inspired generations of women to pursue careers in STEM fields. She is a role model for women everywhere and has shown that women can achieve great things in any field.

Katherine Johnson was a truly remarkable woman who made significant contributions to the space program and to society as a whole. Her work has inspired generations of people and has helped to make the world a better place.

Jane Goodall: Primatologist and conservationist

Inspiring works and Achievements of Jane Goodall

  • Jane Goodall made groundbreaking observations about chimpanzee behavior, including their use of tools and their social structure. She was the first person to document chimpanzees using tools, such as sticks to fish for termites. She also observed that chimpanzees have a complex social structure, with different groups having different customs and traditions.

  • Goodall's work has helped to change our understanding of chimpanzees and other primates. She has shown that chimpanzees are intelligent and complex creatures, with their own unique cultures.

  • Goodall has also dedicated her life to conservation and raising awareness about the plight of chimpanzees and other endangered species. She has founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which works to protect chimpanzees and their habitats around the world.

Examples of Jane Goodall's inspiring works:

  • In 1961, Goodall observed a chimpanzee named David Greybeard using a stick to fish for termites. This was the first time that anyone had ever seen a chimpanzee use a tool.

  • In 1965, Goodall observed chimpanzees using leaves to soak up water and drink it. This was the first time that anyone had ever seen a non-human animal use a tool to obtain food and water.

  • In 1971, Goodall published her book In the Shadow of Man, which documented her observations of chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. The book was a bestseller and helped to raise awareness about chimpanzees and their conservation needs.

Impact of Jane Goodall's work:

  • Jane Goodall's work has had a profound impact on our understanding of chimpanzees and other primates. She has shown that chimpanzees are intelligent and complex creatures, with their own unique cultures.

  • Goodall's work has also inspired generations of people to become involved in conservation and animal welfare. She is a role model for people around the world and has shown that it is possible to make a difference in the world, even for one species.

Jane Goodall is a truly remarkable woman who has dedicated her life to understanding and protecting chimpanzees and other endangered species. Her work has had a profound impact on our understanding of the natural world and has inspired generations of people to become involved in conservation.

Viola Davis: Actor and activist

Early life: Viola Davis was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina on August 11, 1965.

Background: She grew up in poverty and faced discrimination because of her race and gender.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Viola Davis

  • Viola Davis is a versatile actress who has starred in a variety of films, television shows, and plays. She is known for her powerful performances and her ability to portray complex and nuanced characters.

  • Some of Davis' most inspiring works include:

    • Her role as Aibileen Clark in the film The Help (2011), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

    • Her role as Michelle Obama in the television series Scandal (2012-2018).

    • Her role as Ma Rainey in the play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2016), for which she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

  • Davis is also a vocal advocate for social justice. She has spoken out against racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. She is a role model for many people and has inspired them to speak up for what they believe in.

Impact of Viola Davis' work

  • Viola Davis' work has had a profound impact on the entertainment industry. She has shown that black women can be leading ladies in Hollywood and that they can be taken seriously as actors.

  • Davis' work has also inspired people around the world to speak up against injustice. She is a role model for many people and has shown them that they can make a difference in the world.

Viola Davis is a truly remarkable woman who has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry and to society as a whole. Her work has inspired and empowered people around the world.

Awards and recognitions: Davis has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, and two Emmy Awards. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Kamala Harris: Vice President of the United States

Early life: Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964.

Background: She is the first female, first African American, and first Asian American vice president of the United States.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Kamala Harris

  • Kamala Harris has held a number of high-profile positions in government, including Attorney General of California and Senator from California. In these roles, she has fought for a number of progressive causes, including:

    • Criminal justice reform: Harris has worked to reduce mass incarceration and to reform the bail system. She has also supported efforts to end the death penalty.

    • Immigration reform: Harris has supported comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

    • Environmental protection: Harris has worked to combat climate change and to protect clean air and water.

Examples of Kamala Harris' inspiring works:

  • As Attorney General of California, Harris launched a number of initiatives to reduce mass incarceration, including a program that diverted low-level offenders away from jail and prison.

  • As Senator from California, Harris introduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which would legalize marijuana at the federal level and provide financial assistance to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

  • Harris has also been a vocal critic of the Trump administration's policies on immigration and climate change. She has spoken out against the separation of families at the border and the rollback of environmental regulations.

Impact of Kamala Harris' work:

  • Kamala Harris' work has had a significant impact on a number of important issues, including criminal justice reform, immigration reform, and environmental protection. She has been a leading voice for progressive change and has helped to move the needle on important issues.

  • Harris is also a role model for women and girls around the world. She has shown that women can achieve great things in any field, including politics.

Kamala Harris is a truly remarkable woman who has dedicated her life to public service. Her work has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of people and has inspired people around the world.

Awards and recognitions: Harris has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Political Leadership and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Malala Yousafzai: Education activist

Early life: Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Swat Valley, Pakistan on July 12, 1997.

Background: She became a vocal advocate for girls' education in her native Swat Valley, where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school.

Inspiring works and Achievements of Malala Yousafzai:

  • Malala Yousafzai became a vocal advocate for girls' education in her native Swat Valley, where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. She began blogging about her experiences under Taliban rule and speaking out against the ban on girls' education.

  • In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her activism. However, she survived and has continued to campaign for girls' education around the world.

  • Malala is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She has also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Sakharov Prize.

Examples of Malala Yousafzai's inspiring works:

  • Malala has founded the Malala Fundwhich works to ensure that every girl has access to education.

  • She has spoken at the United Nations and other international forums to advocate for girls' education.

  • She has written a book about her experiences, I Am Malala.

  • She has met with world leaders to discuss the importance of girls' education.

Impact of Malala Yousafzai's work:

  • Malala Yousafzai's work has had a significant impact on the global conversation about girls' education. She has inspired millions of people around the world to stand up for girls' right to education.

  • Malala's work has also led to concrete changes, such as the passage of laws that protect girls' right to education and the establishment of new schools for girls in countries where they are denied access to education.

Malala Yousafzai is a true inspiration. She is a brave and courageous young woman who has dedicated her life to fighting for the right of girls to education. Her work has made a real difference in the lives of millions of girls around the world.

Quote by Malala Yousafzai:

"Education is the only way to achieve real peace and equality."

Awards and recognitions: Yousafzai has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Sakharov Prize.

Gitanjali Rao: Scientist and inventor

Early life: Gitanjali Rao was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on March 12, 2005.

Background: She is a scientist and inventor who has developed several innovative tools to address social problems.

Achievements: Rao invented a device that can detect lead in drinking water and developed an app that can identify cyberbullying. She has also worked on developing a vaccine for the Zika virus.

Awards and recognitions: Rao has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge and the Google Science Fair. She is also a member of the Forbes Under 30 list.

Jacinda Ardern: Prime Minister of New Zealand

Early life: Jacinda Ardern was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on July 26, 1980.

Background: She became the Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2017 at the age of 37. She is the youngest person to hold the position.

Achievements: Ardern has been praised for her leadership in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a strong advocate for social justice and has worked to promote equality and inclusion.

Angela Merkel: Chancellor of Germany

Early life: Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg, Germany on July 17, 1954.

Background: She studied physics and chemistry at the University of Leipzig and worked as a research scientist before entering politics.

Achievements: Merkel served as Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. She was the first woman to hold the position and the longest-serving German chancellor.

Awards and recognitions: Merkel has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the Charlemagne Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Director-General of the World Trade Organization

Early life: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was born in Ogwashi-Uku, Nigeria on June 13, 1954.

Background: She studied economics at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as a development economist and finance minister for Nigeria before becoming the Director-General of the World Trade Organization in 2021.

Achievements: Okonjo-Iweala is a leading expert on global trade and development. She has worked to promote economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.

Awards and recognitions: Okonjo-Iweala has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the World Food Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Melinda French Gates: Philanthropist and businesswoman

Early life: Melinda French Gates was born in Dallas, Texas on August 15, 1964.

Background: She studied computer science and business administration at Duke University and Harvard Business School. She worked as a management consultant before co-founding the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, Bill Gates.

Achievements: French Gates is a leading philanthropist and advocate for global health and development. She has worked to improve access to education, healthcare, and clean water around the world.

Awards and recognitions: French Gates has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of the British Empire.

Oprah Winfrey: Media mogul and philanthropist

Early life: Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954.

Background: She overcame poverty and abuse to become one of the most successful women in the world. She is the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show, which is the highest-rated talk show in history. She is also a successful actress, producer, and philanthropist.

Achievements: Winfrey is a global icon and role model for women and girls everywhere. She has used her platform to speak out on issues such as poverty, illiteracy, and domestic violence.

Awards and recognitions: Winfrey has been awarded numerous awards for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

These women are all role models for us all. They have achieved great things in their respective fields and have used their platforms to make a difference in the world. We can all learn from their courage, determination, and commitment to excellence.

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