HERE COME THE GIRLS

WITH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN ’S DAY AND MOTHER’S DAY BOTH TAKING PLACE THIS MONTH, WE TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND INSPIRATIONAL CELEBRITY WOMEN WHO ARE USING THEIR STAR STATUSES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD…

EMMA WATSON

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WHO: She rose to fame as Hermione Grainger in the Harry Potter film franchise, (a series that is estimated to have seen her rake in more than £24million), and hasn’t left the public eye since. Since hanging up her wand, Emma has gone on to model, continue her education by obtaining a degree from Brown University and appear in further acting roles, most notably Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which is released later this month.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She uses her magic powers for good – in 2014 Emma was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, launching the hugely successful HeForShe gender equality campaign. Last year she started a feminist Goodreads book club called Our Shared Shelf, where participants are encouraged to share their thoughts and discussions on the topic of feminism.

LAURA KENNY

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WHO: Formerly Laura Trott before she married fellow Olympian Jason Kenny in 2016, cyclist Laura is both the most successful female track cyclist in Olympic history and GB’s most successful female Olympian of all time. The 24 year old has four gold medals, a Commonwealth Games title and in January she was awarded a CBE for services to cycling.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She was born with a collapsed lung, battled asthma and suffers with a sickness problem brought on during exercise – and is still the most successful female Olympian… enough said really. With her Rio 2016 wins and then getting married in September, 2017 looked set to be a quieter year for Laura, but she and husband Jason have just announced that they’re expecting a baby…

J.K. ROWLING

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WHO: The author behind the Harry Potter series, who at the time of writing the first novel was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, but who is now one of the richest women in the world.

WHY WE LOVE HER: Aside from enchanting the world with her stories, J.K Rowling is inspirational in many ways. As well as being heavily involved in charity work (she’s estimated to have donated £10.3 million last year alone), she also has the welfare of young people at the forefront of her mind, using her Twitter account to help fans overcome obstacles, and protecting them from online bullying.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

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WHO: An Oscar-winning American actress who currently tops the ranks as the highest paid actress in the world. She rose to stardom after appearing in The Hunger Games series, and now, at just 26 is one of the most sought-after talents in the business.

WHY WE LOVE HER: As well as always coming with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, Jennifer Lawrence has spoken out about gender pay inequality, highlighting the issues within the film industry and ensuring that in future roles she’ll be paid the same as her male counterparts.

AMAL CLOONEY

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WHO: A human rights and international law barrister, who has worked on some high profile cases, including representing Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks in his fight against extradition. Oh, and she’s married to George Clooney and expecting twins with the actor.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She might have married one of the world’s most desired men, but Amal is powerful and prominent in her own right. When the pair tied the knot in 2014, many of the press articles focused on how lucky George was to have found someone so intelligent and inspiring – a welcome change.
As well as tackling some complex and important cases, Amal is also passionate about giving girls a good education – she partnered with 100 Lives to launch The Amal Clooney Scholarship, where one female student is sent from Lebanon to Dilijan each year to enrol in a two-year international baccalaureate programme.

ANGELINA JOLIE

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WHO: An American actress and filmmaker, who is well-known for her humanitarian efforts. She has six children,
three who were adopted internationally, and  she and ex-husband Brad Pitt founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt foundation to help assist with humanitarian crises around the world.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She has an unwavering passion for helping others – she has Cambodian citizenship as a result of the conservation work she’s achieved in the country, and holds the position of Special Envoy to High Commissioner within the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She’s also founded charities, campaigned for human and women’s rights, and has even funded schools.

MICHELLE OBAMA

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WHO: America’s first lady until a couple of months ago, Michelle is a former lawyer who was instrumental in her husband Barack’s electoral campaigns and supported him throughout his presidency.

WHY WE LOVE HER: Although she was part of one of America’s most powerful couples, Michelle deserves recognition in her own right. As well as the amazing initiatives she created for America, such as Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn, we all fell in love with her because of her impeccable fashion sense, and her humility – how many president’s wives do you see belting out Stevie Wonder in Carpool Karaoke with James Corden?

ADELE

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WHO: Only the world’s most successful female singer, who’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, and has among other accolades, 15 Grammy awards, an Oscar and a few world records under her belt to reflect her accomplishments. And, she’s only 28.

WHY WE LOVE HER: Despite her phenomenal success, Adele is incredibly down to earth, shying away from the limelight and celebrity lifestyle and choosing to focus on family instead. She never publicly announced her pregnancy in 2012, and she and husband Simon Konecki also got married in secret. She also still shops in Tesco, so it’s good to know even she’s on the lookout for a multi-buy wine saving…

BEYONCE

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WHO: One of the world’s biggest pop stars, (she’s the most nominated female in Grammy history), who was once referred to as: “the perfect role model for my daughters” by former president Barack Obama.

WHY WE LOVE HER: As well as being a savvy business woman, Beyoncé is a powerful voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, and her 2016 album Lemonade was highly acclaimed because she used her musical prowess to address issues including infidelity and gender inequality, with the aim to empower other women. Her recent pregnancy announcement became the most liked photo in Instagram’s history.

MERYL STREEP

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WHO: The most Oscar-nominated actress of all time, who has been widely regarded by critics as the greatest living actress.

WHY WE LOVE HER: Despite her acting success, Streep is also highly regarded for her philanthropy. She donated her 1 million dollar fee from The Iron Lady to charity, has founded scholarships for students in English and Maths and has also funded a screenwriters lab for women over 40.
And, she put president Trump firmly in his place when he suggested she was ‘overrated’.