The world celebrates International Girl Child Day today and we’re taking a moment to appreciate women and girls who have inspired others to make a change.

Life as a woman never has been easy. It was the struggles and efforts of many women in the past that inspired women and girls of today, paving way for them to lead a life of their own choice. It’s sad that women still have to fight for their right to be treated equally. In order to support this struggle of equality and a better life for the girl child, the United Nations declared International Girl Child Day on October 11th.

International Girl Child Day aims at spreading awareness about various issues faced by girls around the world. Women are subject to several atrocities like gender inequality, lack of proper education, violence, lack of proper medical care, legal rights and forced child marriage.

But there are many women who have emerged out of these issues. The world is house to such incredible and fabulous women who fought various odds to become what they are today. Women that stand as the epitome of hard work and persistence. These women have played an incredible part in inspiring millions urging them to never lose hope and to keep dreaming their dreams. On International Girl Day, we intend to appreciate them and the many others out there who are effecting change one bold step at a time.

Listed below are some of the many incredible women you should know about this International Girl Child Day:

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex and an outspoken feminist is one inspiring soul who with her noble work and kindness is doing her best to bring a difference in the lives of many.

“Just as black and white, when mixed, make grey, in many ways that’s what it did to my self-identity: it created a murky area of who I was, a haze around how people connected with me. I was grey. And who wants to be this indifferent colour, devoid of depth and stuck in the middle? I certainly didn’t'”

Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju

Contributing to one of the historic judgement of India, this duo went on to become the ray of hope for the LGBTQ+ community in the largest democracy of the world. This LGBTQ+ couple made it possible for people to love a person of any gender, without having to face criminal implications.

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Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, who fought and won the battle to make homosexuality as legal in India, have recently confessed to international media about their relationship. In a recent interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, the couple admitted that they were a couple and the battle in the courtroom last year was also a personal one. When asked whether the case was much more personal to them or not, both Guruswamy and Katju had agreed. "Ya, that's right. The loss in 2013 was a loss as lawyers and loss of citizens. It was a personal loss. It was not nice to be a criminal to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases. It was a deeply personal loss. I think our governments has to have a sense that these are not our laws, these were never our cultures and why we have been not proactive in bringing forth a law reform in expanding freedom. Surely independence and de-colonisation must mean that," Guruswamy said. In a historic judgement that can be called a milestone in the movement for gay rights in India, the Supreme Court in September last year ruled that homosexuality is not a crime in the country anymore with the top court moving to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a British era law that treated the practice as unnatural. #menakaguruswamy ##arundhatikatju #section377 #section377verdict #section377nomore #lesbian #lesbiancouples #homosexuality

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Ellen DeGeneres

An actor, anchor, comedian and social activist, she also has the world in splits with her amazing sense of humour. Ellen has faced a lot of struggles but has never failed to inspire people to strive towards saving the environment and doing good for the society.

“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others”

Arunima Sinha

The first woman amputee who successfully climbed the tallest mountain, Mount Everest. She is a living example of persistence and has motivated people to never lose hope.

“Arise, Awake and Stop not till your goal is reached”

Mithali Raj

Cricket is not just a gentleman’s sport. The former captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket team, she has contributed immensely towards the sport encouraging many young girls to live up to their dreams.

“India is ranked higher but we will not show any complacency because any team can upset any other team on its day.”

Michael Obama

Apart from being the wife of the former president of America, Michelle has been able to create an identity of her own with works that have contributed to bringing a change in the society. Her efforts have helped in creating awareness about various issues in the world.

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages”

Also Read: 26 Shows that prove women are real-deal in reel world too

Beyonce

When she sang, ‘Who run the world?’ we felt that. An icon who has encouraged people of colour to dream their dreams. Her songs make us groove and her personality inspires us to be the best version of ourselves.

“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead”

Meryl Streep

A woman of passion and versatility, Meryl is the epitome of a strong independent woman. Her persona continues to marvel us.

“You don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you”

Mary Kom

She came in as a strong punch on all the misogynist faces that said women never belonged to the boxing ring. She is synonymous with persistennce and strength across the globe.

“It has been a tough journey. I carried on with the support of family and friends. Despite the loss today, I am satisfied with the way I performed”

Laxmi Agarwal

Her life is an example of all the violence women face around the world. An incident that changed her life didn’t stop her from living her dreams. She is stronger than ever fighting for people who have faced similar incidents in their life.

I am not a victim, I am a survivor. The man who attacked me would cover his face, I won’t”

Nandita Das

She has made her own way through an industry that belongs to a country that loves fair skin. Fighting against racism and chauvinism this actor-director continues to inspire millions.

“The biggest lesson that I have learnt from everyone is that there are no rules in filmmaking”.

Greta Thunberg

A representative of the future generation, this young teen activist dared to question people for ignoring the greatest issue the world is facing – Climate Change.

“I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower.” 

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When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower. I'm not public about my diagnosis to "hide" behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an "illness", or something negative. And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people. #aspiepower #neurodiverse #npf

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Malala Yusufsai

A young activist who stood up for the right to education. Her efforts will forever be remembered and carried forward.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Priyanka Chopra

She placed Indian cinema on the global platform. Her love for her culture and fight for the various causes has made us work and care for the world.

“I think it’s great to be flawed. I am hugely flawed, and I like it this way. That’s the fun of life. You fall, get up, make mistakes, learn from them, be human and be you.”

Wishing every girl and woman a Happy International Girl Child Day.