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Phenomenal Women – The YES Team's Most Inspiring Women

International Women’s Day 2019

Friday 8th March 2019 marks International Women’s Day. Initially celebrated in New York City in 1909, the day has stood as a focal point for women’s rights on a yearly basis since. Throughout history, we have been graced with countless inspirational female figures that have shaped the world that we live in today. To celebrate International Women’s Day, the YES team have compiled a list of who they consider to be ‘phenomenal women’ and why.

Here are a few of our favourites… The YES Team’s Phenomenal Women

‘My phenomenal woman is Leyla Hussein. A survivor of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) herself, Leyla is a multi-award winning campaigner on FGM and gender rights. She is a co-founder of Daughters of Eve and runs Dahlia Project, the only counselling project for FGM survivors in the UK. Her political lobbying and tireless campaigning has taken her to Westminster and beyond. An inspirational story of unwavering endeavour to try and protect the 100,000 women and girls in the UK and 125 million girls worldwide effected by FGM.’

‘Whether it be on a personal level or through the likes of mainstream media, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by a myriad of phenomenal women on a daily basis. In recent times, The Oscar’s Best Actress, Olivia Colman, has inspired me hugely. Most notably in her acceptance speech, I think that she perfectly depicted how it is still possible to remain humble and thoughtful of others beyond a point whereby most would become egoistical and careless. Not to mention the fact that she has transitioned from Peep Show’s ‘Sophie’, to Queen Anne in ‘The Favourite’ without breaking a sweat.’

‘I have a lot of women that have inspired me over the years, however the two main women in my life and my biggest inspirations have always been my older sister and my mother. People are strong and powerful in so many different ways, however these two have always shown me that no matter what happens, you can always pick yourself up and stay strong! They have shown and taught me how to respect and always be kind to people. They have also taught me that everybody is equal and this is the basis of having a good, healthy and happy life.’

Zoe Buckman (Artist, photographer, producer) is my phenomenal woman. Her art installations explore themes such as feminism, motherhood, oppression and empowerment – my favourite being ‘Heavy Rag’. As a passionate feminist and kickboxer myself, I’m an avid admirer of her portfolio and the message it portrays.’

My sister, Angharad, inspired me throughout her short life in the way she dealt with all that life threw at her. With her disabilities, she had no option to quit, say no, and explain when she was in pain or discomfort. She had to find ways of conveying this but often just had to get on with it. Her illuminating smile always showed you when she was happy though. Even though no longer with us, she is in my thoughts every day, inspiring me to be a better person, and raise funds & awareness for a charity helping to cure the neurological disease she had.’

Audrey Hepburn was phenomenal. Not only an accomplished actress, my all-time favourite, she was an amazing mother and worked to help many people in the third world. She devoted much of her time in the late 80s to working with some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America and Asia and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992. Sadly she died only a month later in 1993 at the age of 63. She was gentle, strong and always a lady who showed me how to be a better woman.’

We hope you enjoyed reading through some of our team’s phenomenal women, and wish you the very best with your International Women’s Day celebrations!