Breaking Barriers: Meet The 12 Women Of The Year - Meaningful Life

Time magazine annually honors great women who are “working toward a more equal world.”

“Creating a better future for women means building bridges—across generations, communities, and borders,” states Time magazine.

For this year’s Women’s History Month, the publication is highlighting the influence these women have on the world. The list features extraordinary leaders from activism and government to sports and the arts.

READ ALSO: A Mission Of Love And Service: Monica Maralit Highlights The Value Of Empowering Women

Cate Blanchett

Academy Award-winning actor Cate Blanchett is best known for her work in The Lord of the Rings franchise, Blue Jasmine, Carol, and most recently Tár, just to name a few.

On the film industry, she says, “When people talk about gender parity, when they talk about exclusion and inclusion, they always look at the cultural institutions in this country first. So it’s upon us to make those changes.”

Ayisha Siddiqa

Ayisha Siddiqa is a 24-year-old human rights and climate defender. Last November, at the annual U.N. Climate Conference in Egypt, she shared an original poem of hers titled “So much about your sustainability, my people are dying.”

“I want the world leaders to know that the earth has a memory… You will have to answer to her children, and their children, and your children… You cannot negotiate with nature,” she says in the poem.

Angela Bassett

Actor Angela Bassett is currently making history by receiving Marvel’s first acting nominations in many award shows for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

“Women are called upon to be wives, sisters, friends, mothers, community leaders, activists, and we have it in our core to be these things,” she says, upon reflecting on her experience with the role. “But it’s important to give to yourself first, and then you have more to share with the world.”

Ramla Ali

Professional boxer, fashion model, and philanthropist Ramla Ali is fighting for refugees as a UNICEF U.K. ambassador.

Ali’s family fled Somalia and was granted asylum in Britain when she was just a toddler. This experience is what drives her to “show that refugees are human beings as well.”

Phoebe Bridgers

Singer Phoebe Bridgers uses her platform to speak out on the issues that matter to her. It was when she saw parents leave with their child in the middle of her concert that she realized her voice had power.

“I hope it makes a difference,” says the singer-songwriter. “I hope those parents are going to lose the battle with that kid’s opinions and belief systems.”

Anielle Franco

Anielle Franco is Brazil’s current racial equality Minister. She did not initially plan on becoming a politician. That all changed when her activist sister, Marielle, was assassinated.

“I lost my fear when they killed my sister. Now I fight for something much bigger than myself,” the former volleyball player and English teacher says.

Olena Shevchenko

Olena Shevchenko fights for the LGBTQI people who belong to one of the most vulnerable communities during the war. She also works tirelessly to combat gender stereotypes.

“It’s a daily fight,” she says. “You need to remind people that women are not people who just need to give birth to new soldiers and take care of our heroes.”

Verónica Cruz Sánchez

Verónica Cruz Sánchez and her feminist activist network, Las Libres, have transformed the abortion experience in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Now she’s helping Americans defy abortion bans in the country, saying, “When people tell me I’m crazy to risk arrest, it makes me angry. What I’m doing is the only reasonable thing to do.”

Masih Alinejad

Journalist and activist Masih Alinejad has risked her career and life for speaking out against Iran’s restrictions on women.

When she speaks about the young girls whose lives were stolen by the regime, she says, “Suddenly they became heroes. Why don’t people pay attention to women when they’re alive?”

Megan Rapinoe

Football player Megan Rapinoe has led the movement that fought for equal pay between men and women in the sport.

“It’s a huge step forward to continue to build the sport,” says the Golden Ball award winner. Rapinoe received the honor as the top player at the 2019 World Cup in France.

Makiko Ono

Makiko Ono, CEO of Suntory Beverages and Food, now belongs to the most valuable company under female leadership in Japan.

She’s currently working on getting more women into bigger roles at Suntory. “We are committed to designing a career path to promote women to management positions,” says Ono.

Quinta Brunson

Award-winning actor, writer, and executive producer Quinta Brunson sheds a light on our everyday heroes. In creating the hit comedy series Abbott Elementary, the showrunner says she takes inspiration from teachers in her own life, including her mother Norma Jean Brunson.

“Through Janine and the rest of the characters, I hope to be able to help people love themselves a little bit more,” she says. “And give themselves grace and appreciate the hardworking people in their lives.”

Banner image via Instagram @ayisha_sid.

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