6th October, 2016

Top 10 Female Role Models

By Rachael S

Jane Lunnon, headteacher of Wimbledon High School, is pushing a new focus on celebrating female role models. Pupils in the London school are to be taught about inspirational figures from world politics and even Shakespeare's novels, in a bid to supplant social media superstars such as Kim Kardashian.

In a spirit of support, here are our top ten female role models:

1) Ellie Simmonds

As a British Paralympian swimmer, she has won ten World Championship golds, alongside numerous Olympic golds and the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. Alongside her incredible achievements in the pool, she is renowned for her determined but joyful attitude.

2) Malala Yousafzai

Malala is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her impassioned speeches and determination to see change makes her a standout role model for others to follow.

3) Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel is a German stateswoman and former research scientist. Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005, and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000. Whatever your views on her policies, her presence as a central figure in European politics for such a sustained period makes her an incredible role model for all.

4) Emma Watson

Watson is an ambassador for the United Nation's HeForShe campaign—a movement to remind us all that feminism really just means people treating each other with equal respect. She has been involved in the promotion of girls' education internationally and her powerful speech to the UN can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk

5) Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is an American lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States. In her own right, she is a formidable advocate for social change, focussing on: healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.

6) Judi Dench

A Shakesperean actor, Dench is a BAFTA winner and seven time Oscar-nominee. She is a British treasure and her roles as a leading, powerful female have won her immeasurable praise. 

7) Jessica Ennis-Hill

Who does not love Jessica Ennis-Hill (apart from other female heptathletes)? An incredible athlete, she demonstrates what can be achieved through hard work and true dedication. What's more... she's from Sheffield!

8) Nicola Adams

The smiliest boxer/person in the world - Nicola Adams is a figure who proves what is capable if you keep fighting for something. Sorry... terrible pun. Her attitude towards her sport and life in general is one for us all to learn from.

9) J K Rowling

The children's author and political campaigner stands out, not only for the manner in which she helps children encounter difficult and complex moral decisions in her writing, but also for the way in which she stands by her convictions.

10) Aung San Suu Kyi

The world’s most famous living political activist, Aung San Suu Kyi has campaigned tirelessly for democracy in Burma, and is, therefore, an exceptional female role model.

Let us know your thoughts on who else should be in the list.

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