This year’s International women’s Day is to #choosetochallenge. Whether that be challenging the norm, challenging stereotypes, or inequality, from challenge comes change.
Here at Gabor Shoes, we want to share with you some of our favourite female icons who have already taken the right steps in society to challenge the struggles we face as females across the globe.
From writers, to lawyers, to our favourite TV stars, keep on reading to find out our top female stars this International Women’s Day.
In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women’s Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. In October 1903, she helped found the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) – an organisation that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened ‘suffragettes’. Emmeline’s daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. Like many, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the years and went on hunger strikes herself. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men.
Known for her beautiful unibrow and flowers in her hair, Frida Khalo painted bright, brave images of her experiences, and lived her conflicting femininity just as boldly. She defied gender stereotype by embracing her mono-brow and faint moustache and embraced her uniqueness. Frida experienced an immense amount of suffering throughout her life; contracting polio at age six, suffering from spina bifida, and then at the age of 18 suffering a near-fatal car accident. Though she was bedridden for months after the accident, Frida began to paint. She transformed her pain into passion on the canvas. Through this bravery, her legacy has empowered generations of women to express their respective female experiences. Above all, she was fierce.
Besides being married to one of the most famous men in America, Michelle Obama has her own goals and visions on how she can make the world a better place. Studying at Harvard and having her own legal career, Michelle is a powerful icon for women and girls around the globe as she advocates for better education for females despite their wealth, religion or birthplace. The former first lady also taught us that boys and romance shouldn’t always be the most important thing, with one of her most famous lines being: “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” This is why she is one of our female icons this IWD.
Ruth Ginsberg was an American lawyer who was part of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was the second woman to serve in the Supreme Court, though she had many difficulties finding a job as a lawyer due to her gender although she graduated joint first in her class in 1959. In 1972 Ginseberg became founding counsel of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and co-authored a law-school casebook on gender discrimination. In the same year, she became the first tenured female faculty member at Columbia Law School. Because of her increasing outspokenness, Ginsburg became, during the Obama administration (2009–17), a progressive and feminist folk hero and was nicknamed ‘The Notorious R.B.G’. She sadly passed in September 2020.
Though sometimes she can’t openly speak about politics due to being the future queen, there’s no doubt the Duchess of Cambridge isn’t an icon to millions of women. From a working-class background, Kate Middleton uses her platform to uplift women and offer support where needed. There’s even something called the ‘Kate Middleton effect’ whereby anything she wears whether it be designer or the rare high-street option, the item sells out in minutes – now that definitely is a sign of how many women look up to her. Not only is she in a powerful position, but she is also an everyday mum which her followers love to see.