International Women’s Day 2023 is here and if you’ve ever felt like you need a running list of exceptional feminist icons to lift you up, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve profiled 30 modern-day feminists who inspire us on the daily with their deeds, words and legacies. From groundbreaking legends who have long been battling to secure basic freedoms, to rising stars who are introducing a brand new generation to the movement, these leaders are paving the way forward for women and girls around the world.
In the years since her breakthrough performance at Glastonbury in 2019, Lizzo has spoken out about everything from body-shaming to institutional racism in the music industry. She’s cooly demonstrated how easy it is to be an ally to non-binary people by correcting paparazzi when they misgendered Demi Lovato and has encouraged people all over the world to embrace self-love.
2. Michaela Coel
Michaela made a name for herself with the critically-acclaimed BBC Three series, Chewing Gum, as well as starring in Black Mirror and Top Boy. In 2020, she released the best TV show of the year: I May Destroy You, which – loosely based on Michaela’s own experiences – followed a young woman who dealt with the aftermath of being raped.
As if winning four BAFTAs wasn’t enough, Michaela rejected a $1 million deal with Netflix that would see her lose the copyright of her work, telling BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour: “At that stage it’s hard to say to people: ‘Trust your gut and follow your instinct,’ because it’s not a very useful sentence all the time, but that is what I did in that situation and I’m very glad I did.”