10+ Famous Resilient Women You Need to Know About

February 28, 2023

International Women’s Day 2023 will be a powerful reminder of the progress that has been made and the work still to be done for gender equality. 

It’s a day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements worldwide. It is also a call to action for accelerating gender parity, from the workplace to the home. 

In addition, International Women’s Day 2023 will be an opportunity to recognize the courage and determination of women who have been at the forefront of international movements for social justice and human rights. 

Why Celebrate Resilience?

Resilience is a trait that is often associated with strength and courage. It is the ability to recover quickly from difficult situations and to keep going despite any obstacles. 

Throughout history, women have faced many adversities but overcame them to persevere and thrive. That’s why we’re celebrating International Women’s Day 2023 by recognizing women who have inspired others with their courage and strength. 

10+ Resilient Women You Need to Know About

In a world of gender inequality, these 10+ resilient women are true pioneers and role models for women everywhere.

From entrepreneurs to activists, these strong women have used their resilience to achieve success and paves the way for generations of women to come. 

1. Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

A self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights and social justice. 

Born in Harlem, New York, Lorde was a fiercely outspoken advocate for intersectional feminism and the empowerment of marginalized communities. Lorde was a prolific writer, and her works often addressed issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia with unflinching honesty. 

Her life was a testament to her belief that resilience lies in standing up and speaking out against social injustice.

2. Malala Yousafzai (1997 – present)

Malala is an advocate for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. Growing up in Pakistan, she was targeted by the Taliban for her activism and was shot in the head at the age of 15. 

Despite this, Malala recovered and continued h​​er mission to ensure that all girls have the right to an education. 

3. Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)

Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. This act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to the desegregation of the city’s bus system and helped fuel the civil rights movement. 

4. Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)

Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman and the first Native American woman to become a licensed pilot. Despite facing rampant racism and sexism in the aviation industry, Coleman refused to back down and persevered in her pursuit of her dream. 

She eventually earned her pilot’s license in France and became a pioneering stunt pilot. 

She set a powerful example of courage and resilience throughout her life and showed that anything is possible if you never give up.

5. Oprah Winfrey (1954 – present)

Oprah is a media mogul and philanthropist who rose to fame with her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 years. She was the first African-American woman to become a billionaire, and she uses her platform to support women’s issues and tell inspiring stories of resilience.

6. Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1912 

Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist who escaped from slavery and helped others to escape as well. 

She was a leader of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved people to escape to free states and Canada. She demonstrated immense resilience in the face of adversity, showing courage and determination in her fight for freedom and justice. 

7. Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011)

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

She fought to protect the environment and promote democracy in her country while also advocating for women’s rights. 

She demonstrated resilience by standing up to powerful forces and refusing to back down in the face of adversity. 

8. Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1939)

Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 

She demonstrated resilience by pushing boundaries and refusing to be limited by traditional gender roles. 

Despite facing numerous challenges during her daring flights, she never gave up and continued to pursue her dreams. 

9. Rigoberta Menchú (1959- present)

Rigoberta Menchú is a Guatemalan human rights activist and the first Indigenous woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. 

She has fought for Indigenous rights and justice for her people and has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity. 

10. Billie Jean King (1943-present)

Billie Jean King is a legendary tennis player and a leader in the fight for gender equality in sports. During her career, King faced tremendous discrimination due to her gender, but she never let it stop her from trying to achieve her goals. 

She is widely known for her famous “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs, in which she defeated him to prove that women could compete on a level playing field with men. King’s life is a testament to her unwavering commitment to her beliefs, and her story will continue to inspire generations to come.

11. Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

Helen Keller was an American author, activist, and lecturer who became deaf and blind at the age of 19 months. 

Despite her disability, she was determined to learn and thrive, and is an inspiring example of resilience and courage.

Feeling Inspired? Build Your Resilience!

This day will serve as a reminder that true gender equality can only be achieved by collective action and collective advocacy. 

As we celebrate the resilience of women and all they have accomplished, let’s look ahead to how we can replicate their bravery, leadership and success.

Our coaching programs will help equip you with the skills you need to confidently move forward in leadership roles by offering coaching programs that focus on building resilience and leadership skills

With the proper support and coaching, you can become a resilient female leader who will be even more empowered to create change for yourself, your family, and your community.