As we approach the end of the decade, let’s take a moment to recall the women who did more than just make a statement in these past 10 years — they created an entire movement.
#1 Greta Thunberg
16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta has gained international recognition as the most visible face when it comes to the global climate movement. She is straightforward and fearless, constantly urging immediate action to the current climate crisis. She has addressed heads of state at the U.N, met with the Pope, and inspired nearly 4 million individuals to join the largest climate strike to date, in September 2019.
#2 Ilhan Omar
Ilhan is the first U.S Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, and also the first in the U.S Congress to wear hijab. As a Muslim sworn in on the Qur’an, the rules were changed to allow her to wear the hijab on the floor of the House, where previously, there had been a 181-year ban on headwear of any type.
Malala is a young Pakistani woman known for advocating human rights, particularly for women and children in the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwest Pakistan, where local Taliban had banned girls from attending school. In 2009, at just 11 years old, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu, telling her story of her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The next year, journalist Adam Ellick created a NYT documentary about her life.
#4 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
At just 29, Alexandria became the youngest woman to ever serve in the U.S Congress. She defeated a veteran congressman in the June 2018 primaries, and she rocks red lipstick and hoop earrings to remind everyone of her Bronx roots, giving women the confidence they need to rise and empower.
#5 Emma Gonzalez
Emma survived the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. In response, she co-founded the gun-control advocacy group known as Never Again MSD.
#6 Tarana J Burke
Tarana is the woman behind the “Me Too” movement. She is a civil rights activist from The Bronx. In 2006, she began using the phrase “Me Too” on social media, raising awareness of sexual abuse and assault.
#7 Zarifa Ghafari
Zarifa is an Afghan advocate, politician, and entrepreneur. At 26, she is the youngest to be appointed as one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors. The country’s president appointed her mayor of Maidan Shahr, where support for Taliban is rampant. The young mayor says that her goal is to make people believe in the rights of women and they power they hold.
#8 Alaa Salah
Alaa is the Sudanese student and anti-government protester whose image fueled a revolution. She gained world-wide media attention when a photo of her (taken by Lana Haroun) went viral in April of 2019. The image has been dubbed as “Lady Liberty” of Sudan. Alaa gave a speech at the U.N Security Council meeting in October 2019, insisting that women should be given equal representation to men in the Sudanese transitional institutions.
#9 Rashida Tlaib
Michigan’s Representative, Rashida Tlaib, took her message “Impeach the MF” to a whole new level by creating a T-shirt line with the message printed on it. Her launch came hours after the release of a whistleblower report that claimed the president “used the power of his office” to gain help from Ukraine in discrediting political rival Joe Biden.
#10 Ahlam Khudr
Ahlam’s 17-year-old son was killed in a peaceful protest in 2013, and since then, she has dedicated her life to seeking justice for him by fighting for the rights of those killed in Sudan. In the movement that began in December 2018 against former President Omar al-Bashir, she became a prominent protester, leading rallies with strong ties to the youth on the ground.
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