Amazing Young Women Leaders from GEN Z

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Bengisu Gençay

As we reflect on March, it's important to acknowledge the breathtaking evolution of women from the inception of the feminist movement to the present day. Think about the time when women were denied the right to vote, work, or pursue careers in the arts in many parts of the world. Today, they stand as influential leaders shaping our world. We are thrilled to spotlight remarkable young women leaders, offering a dose of hope.

Malala Yousafzai covered by a purple shawl, speaking into a microphone against a dark background.

Malala Yousafzai speaking at the 2014 Women of the World conference. "Malala Yousafzai" by Southbank Centre London is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Malala Yousafzai: In 2014, Malala Yousafzai made history as the youngest Nobel Prize winner at just 17 years old. At the age of 11, she courageously chronicled life under the Taliban regime in a blog post, becoming the voice of millions of oppressed women. Her impactful memoir, "I Am Malala," not only symbolizes the women's movement in Pakistan but also led to the establishment of the Malala Fund, advocating for girls' education worldwide.

In her famous words: "I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."

Despite surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban, Malala continues to be a role model and to inspire women globally.

Amanda Gorman wearing a red hat and yellow coat, speaking into a microphone at an outdoor podium

Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington. "210120-D-WD757-2531 (50861220401)" by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Amanda Gorman: A Harvard graduate and activist poet, Amanda Gorman founded the "One Pen, One Page" charity in 2016, empowering young people through writing. Her captivating poem, "The Hill We Climb," delivered at President Joe Biden's Inauguration Day in January 2021, eloquently addressed themes of Black rights, beauty, and unity in just six minutes.

Gorman believes we should never underestimate the power of words and draws inspiration from one of her role models, Martin Luther King Jr., through his legendary 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Hunter Schafer with pale skin and light blonde hair, wearing a pale dress with feather details, sitting in front of a microphone at a press event

Hunter Schafer at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival. "Hunter Schafer-64977" by Harald Krichel is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Hunter Schafer: As a transgender actress and model, Hunter Schafer advocates for LGBTQ+ rights in public spaces. She actively participated in a lawsuit opposing discriminatory restroom policies, emphasizing the importance of respecting gender identity.

Schafer's portrayal in HBO's "Euphoria" series serves as a significant representation for LGBTQ+ Gen Z individuals, amplifying their voices and experiences.

A collage of protest signs with bold text overlaid by a faded image of a girl with short hair and an intense gaze, with large yellow letters across the front that read "NEVER AGAIN."

Emma Gonzalez in a mosaic of signs related to the growing movement against gun violence. "Emma Gonzalez with mosaic of slogans (art by Serena May Illescas)" by kimmy aoyama is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Emma Gonzalez: A survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida shooting, Emma Gonzalez emerged as a prominent advocate against gun violence. In her own words: "Stop allowing violence to persist and being shocked when the youth are softer and gentler than you. Stop utilizing the abusive and manipulative systems that were created for you. Instead, help people of color, women, LGBT+ people, young people, disabled and differently-abled people, and immigrants obtain an education, food, clean water, safe housing, jobs, healthcare and political power."

She rallies her peers to take action, raising awareness about gun control and advocating for reforms in gun laws. The tragic event, where 17 students were killed and 17 injured, heightened global awareness, an event of which Gonzalez was a survivor. Her resilience in the face of tragedy serves as a beacon of hope for change.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to these extraordinary women, once again proving that "The Future is Female." Let us unite, uplift one another, and strive to make a positive impact on the world.

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