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5 courageous women from history to inspire you to feel brave

Posted: by Natasha Tuesday, 10 October 2017 @ 15:58

This September, we are encouraging everyone to be their bravest self. While staying in your comfort zone can be appealing, it is only through having courage and challenging yourself that you are able to reach new heights. These 5 women from history are the perfect examples of how amazing things can be achieved through courage…

 

Malala Yousafzai  

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

Malala Yousafzai courageously campaigned for equal education for girls in Pakistan from a very young age, blogging anonymously for the BBC as a child. When she was just 15, Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban while travelling home from school in a targeted attack.  She miraculously survived the attack and, at just 17, became the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Yousafzai never let the attack deter her bravery, and uses her now-global platform to advocate for girls’ education. Her achievements are countless; as well as being a UN Messenger for Peace and the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, Yousafzai was recently accepted into Oxford University to study PPE. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, describes her as "a brave and gentle advocate of peace who through the simple act of going to school became a global teacher.”

 

Amelia Earhart

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

A true pioneer, Amelia Earhart was (incredibly) only the sixth woman in the world to own a pilot’s license. Her trailblazing spirit led her to be the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, in 1928. Earhart never let fear get the better of her, and described anxieties as “paper tigers”. Although Earhart disappeared during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, her bravery and innovation make her an inspiration to women everywhere even 80 years later.

 

Rosa Parks

“I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

In 1955, Rosa Parks became a key figure in the Civil Rights movement when, in her own words, “all [she] was doing was trying to get home from work.” When travelling home from work, a white passenger demanded Parks give up her seat, to which she simply replied “no.” This single reply became the catalyst for a 381-day bus boycott which resulted in a law repealing segregation on buses. The day of Parks’ arrest is now honoured as Rosa Parks Day, cementing her legacy as the First Lady of Civil Rights.

 

Audrey Hepburn

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

Although she is perhaps best remembered for her incredible beauty and inimitable style, Audrey Hepburn also led a courageous life. Hepburn grew up in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and gave secret, silent ballet recitals to raise money for the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. She also risked her life transporting messages and money to local resistance contacts. As a result of the Nazi occupation, Hepburn spent much of her childhood impoverished and malnourished. Hepburn never forgot the kindness and aid she received during the liberation, and spent her later years working as a committed ambassador to UNICEF.

 

Anne Frank

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

The famous diarist behind The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank began writing about her experiences as a Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam on her 13th birthday. The diary offers a poignant insight into her life in the secret annex, living in constant fear of discovery. Frank died at just 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Although many passages reflect the overwhelming despair of the period, her diary is remarkable for its optimism, hope, and love for mankind. Frank credits her emotional resilience and capacity to forgive to “inward strength and plenty of courage.”

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