Perhaps five is too small a number for all the women powerhouses I want to acknowledge. The world may not be a perfect place, and equality is nowhere close to where I would like it to be, but I’m so glad to have such brilliant women to look up to. ‘Cause baby, who run the world? GIRLS!
- Ellen Degeneres
Superpower – Kindness
I’m not quite sure if I I want her to adopt me or marry me, it’s either/or, really. (Though I do love Portia too…) But what a woman! Ellen is amazingly generous; She donates millions of dollars to charities and changes thousands of lives not just monetarily, but emotionally too – every single day. Not just that, she came out on national television as a lesbian in 1997, a time when society and mainstream media weren’t as accepting of homosexuality. After she came out, her TV show (where her character came out simultaneously) was cancelled, she was broke, wasn’t getting jobs, and was at rock bottom. Now, she’s an Emmy Award-winning talk show host and an LGBT activist.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Superpower – Revolutionary
Ocasio-Cortez in an American politician, educator, and political activist. At just 28, she won the Democratic Primary in New York’s 14th congressional district defeating a 10-term incumbent. Cortez is running for Medicare for all, tuition-free public schools and universities, and public housing as a minimum right. Preparing to be the youngest member of the House of Representatives, this democratic socialist is bringing her progressive base to the political forefront.
- Angela Merkel
Superpower – Change Maker
Angela Merkel is a German politician and is known as one of the architects of the European Union. She is also the first woman chancellor of Germany, having been re-elected for four terms. During the Syrian Civil War, Merkel pledged to give refuge to fleeing Syrians, discontinuing stringent EU regulations regarding asylum seekers. Despite being at the centre of many a controversy, she is still one of the most powerful women in the world.
- Sarah Kay
Superpower – Words
“Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build.”
Who can forget a woman who writes such powerful poetry? I remember the first time I watched Sarah Kay perform. Her TED talk in 2001 brought the art of spoken word to the mainstream. Not only is she a brilliant poet, but she is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., an organisation focused on using spoken word poetry as an educational and inspirational tool.
- Tarana Burke
Superpower – Creating Change
Burke founded the #MeToo movement in 2006 and began using the phrase ‘Me Too’ to raise awareness about sexual abuse and harassment in society. This movement created a ripple effect after allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public. Women across the world were sharing experiences of rape and sexual assault, leading to an environment of empowerment for women everywhere. Currently, Burke is the senior director at Girls for Gender Equality, which helps young women of colour develop their skills through various programs.