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10 Inspirational Women from Modern History

Women’s History Month is more than a month, it’s a movement. Our content celebrates and amplifies women from the past and present to showcase the different ways young Rebels can get involved in their community or chosen field. This month, we’re highlighting women from modern history who created change by dreaming bigger, aiming higher, and making their voices heard. 

Here are ten women from modern history whose accomplishments have made a significant impact on society and continue to inspire young girls today.

  1. Katherine Johnson – Katherine Johnson was a mathematician and NASA pioneer who played a critical role in the success of the first manned spaceflight. Her work helped to break down barriers for women and people of color in STEM fields. Johnson’s story was recently depicted in the film Hidden Figures, which introduced her to a new generation of young girls interested in science and technology.
  2. Dolores Huerta – Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist and labor leader who co-founded the United Farm Workers and led the fight for better working conditions for farmworkers. Her activism has inspired generations of Latinx activists to fight for social justice and to advocate for the rights of immigrant workers.
  3. Wangari Maathai – Wangari Maathai was an environmental and political activist from Kenya who founded the Green Belt Movement, which planted over 50 million trees in Kenya and empowered women to take leadership roles in their communities. Her work has inspired environmental activists around the world to take action against deforestation and climate change.
  4. Maya Lin – Maya Lin is an artist and architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her work challenged the traditional notions of architecture and art and continues to be celebrated for its beauty and emotional depth. Lin’s designs have inspired a new generation of artists and architects to think outside the box and to create challenging works.
  5. Temple Grandin – Temple Grandin is an author, professor, and autism advocate who has made significant contributions to the field of animal behavior and also furthered understanding and acceptance of autism. Her work has inspired individuals and families affected by autism to embrace their differences and to pursue their passions. 
  6. Malala Yousafzai – Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for girls’ education who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Her bravery and resilience have made her a symbol of hope for girls and women around the world who are fighting for their rights, no matter the obstacles they face. 
  7. Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Supreme Court Justice who fought for gender equality and women’s rights throughout her career. Her work challenged systemic gender discrimination and paved the way for future generations of women in law. Ginsburg’s legacy continues to inspire young girls to fight for gender equality in all fields.
  8. Viola Desmond – Viola Desmond was a Black Canadian businesswoman and civil rights activist who challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia by refusing to sit in the “colored” section of a movie theater. Her act of resistance has inspired Canadians to continue to fight against racism and discrimination. 
  9. Mae Jemison – Mae Jemison is an astronaut and physician who was the first Black woman to travel to space. Her career has helped to raise awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields and has inspired young girls to break down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries. 
  10. Angela Davis – Angela Davis is a political activist and scholar who has fought for social justice and human rights for decades. Her work has challenged systemic racism, sexism, and oppression and has inspired generations of activists to fight for a more just and equitable society. 

These women and countless others have made significant contributions to society, challenging norms and inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps. By learning from their stories and honoring their legacies, we can continue to inspire Rebels to make their own mark on the world.