So, it’s no secret that women rule the world – or they should, at least. With many inspiring women out there making us all proud, we thought we’d give a shout-out to some of the most empowering female celebrities of the last year.
From activists to actresses, politicians to pop stars, there are countless women out there doing amazing things every day and taking down the patriarchy one fierce swipe at a time.
While huge progress has been made for women and feminism in the western world over the past century, it is impossible to deny that we still have a long way to go.
So, we must celebrate these women who are pushing for progress and proving just how great it is to be female.
So, without further ado, read on to discover some of the most empowering female celebrities of the last year. Warning: you might just fall in love.
10. Naomi Osaka – highlighting the importance of mental health in sport
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1997, Naomi Osaka is one of the most talented athletes of the 21st century.
Having been ranked world number one in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Osaka became the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles.
However, it is not just her talent on the court that makes her one of the most empowering female celebrities.
In 2021, at the height of her career, Osaka made the tough decision to end her tennis season early to focus on her mental health. Thus, highlighting the importance of prioritising your mental health in a world where these issues are often dismissed.
9. Mindy Kaling – making space for everyone
An actress known for her roles in various comedy-drama TV series, including The Office, The Mindy Project, and Never Have I Ever, Kaling has proven to be an inspiration to women everywhere.
She has long been an advocate for women’s rights and South Asian representation within the mainstream entertainment industry. Thus, ensuring there is space for everyone.
8. Jameela Jamil – standing up for marginalised groups
Whether you know her from her days on T4 or from her role in The Good Place, it is impossible not to pay attention to the icon that is Jameela Jamil.
Focusing on activism, standing up against the patriarchy and prejudice, and using her voice to speak up for what’s right, Jamil has provided inspiration to many through her social platforms and her popular podcast, I Weigh.
7. Sofia Jirau – making history in a historically prejudiced industry
The fashion industry has a pretty bad name for itself when it comes to inclusion. So, in 2022, Sofia Jirau provided inspiration to many by becoming the very first Victoria’s Secret lingerie model with Down Syndrome.
Sharing the news in an Instagram post, she wrote, “One day I dreamed of it, I worked on it and today it is a dream come true. I can finally tell you my big secret. I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down Syndrome!”
6. Zarah Sultana – an inspiring UK politician
A British Labour Party politician, Zarah Sultana has been making waves in the UK political landscape. At the age of just 29, Sultana has already been a Member of Parliament for Coventry South for three years, proving her popularity among local constituents.
In her career so far, she has focused on speaking out against prominent issues, such as Islamophobia, violence against women, and food scarcity.
5. Munroe Bergdorf – a fearless activist and model
Next up on our list of most empowering female celebrities of the last year is the incredible Munroe Bergdorf. If you don’t already know this name, then this is someone you need to get to know.
A model and activist, Bergdorf has never been shy about standing up against injustices and prejudices. In her career so far, she has been strong in speaking out against gender discrimination and FGM.
4. Malala Yousafzai – standing up for the right to education
Malala Yousafzai dominated headlines back in 2012 after she and two of her school friends were shot by the Taliban. Being hit in the head with a bullet, Yousafzai was left in critical condition and was unconscious for many months.
Thankfully, she recovered after time spent in hospital in the UK, and since then, Malala has used her voice to advocate for the right to education.
3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – making a space for women in US politics
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC as she is better known) has proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the stage of US politics.
Using her position in Congress to challenge the ways things have been done historically and standing up for women’s rights, she consistently proves that we need to question and challenge anything that doesn’t seem right.
2. Greta Thunberg – making the planet a priority
Climate change is no joke and the state our planet is in is, quite frankly, terrifying. Greta Thunberg is a young environmental activist from Sweden who is making sure the world doesn’t forget about the importance of looking after the planet.
After years of activism, she released The Climate Book in 2022 to offer more information to everyone looking to learn more about climate change and what we can do to be better for the planet.
1. Vanessa Nakate – one of the most empowering female celebrities of the last year
Vanessa Nakate is a name that you might not know right away. However, she is a lady that you need to know.
A climate activist from Uganda, Vanessa has spoken up on many issues facing our planet today. She spent many months as a lone protester outside the Parliament of Uganda after becoming concerned about the rising temperatures in the country.
At the Youth4Climate event in Milan, she also pointed out that “Africa is the lowest emitter of CO2 emissions of all continents – except for Antarctica”, but people in Africa are being substantially impacted by the effects of climate change.