7 Inspirational Asian Women We Should Celebrate ...


7 Inspirational Asian Women We Should Celebrate ...
7 Inspirational Asian Women We Should Celebrate ...

There are many inspirational Asian women in the past and present, but we hear little of them and they are rarely celebrated. Because we believe more women should be celebrated for their achievements and minority women are particularly overlooked, here are 7 of the most inspirational Asian women.

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Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai The most famous of current inspirational Asian women is also, incredibly, the youngest, at just 16 years of age. Malala became a worldwide celebrity when she was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, on the school bus. She was targeted because she detailed her life under Taliban rule and campaigned for education for girls in a country where only 12% of women and girls are literate. She was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize and will no doubt go on to many great things.


Miraculously surviving the attack on her life, Malala Yousafzai became a symbol of resilience and the fight for girls’ education. After recovering, she did not shy away from her advocacy but instead escalated her efforts. In 2014, her courage and dedication to the cause of education were recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest-ever laureate. She has since founded the Malala Fund, aiming to ensure every girl's right to 12 years of free, safe, and quality education, and co-authored a best-selling memoir, "I Am Malala," expanding her influence beyond borders to inspire global change.


Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino This incredible lady was not only the first female president of the Philippines, but also the first female president in Asia. After her husband was assassinated, she emerged as leader of the opposition and led the country to revolution. As President, she limited presidential powers and gave power to the people, and emphasized the importance of human rights and civil liberties. She also managed to keep the peace over the years, despite the prevalence of Communist insurgencies and Islamist secession movements, achieving something that very few leaders ever have.


Corazon "Cory" Aquino's ascent to the presidency was a defining moment for a nation grappling with the shackles of dictatorship. Her steadfast commitment to restoring democracy is a powerful narrative of resilience and change. Aquino's People Power Revolution in 1986 is a testament to her courage and the collective will of the Filipino people. Despite multiple coup attempts during her tenure, she showed unyielding fortitude. Her legislative reforms sought to dismantle the vestiges of authoritarian rule and promote social justice, laying down the foundations for enduring democratic institutions in the Philippines. Aquino's legacy continues to inspire leaders around the globe.


Radhika Coomaraswamy

Radhika Coomaraswamy Up until 2012, Radhika Coomaraswamy was the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and is an internationally known human rights advocate. In her role as Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, she voiced the horrors war inflicts upon children on an international scale.


*, a Harvard-educated lawyer from Sri Lanka, has worked tirelessly to champion the rights of children impacted by war. Her efforts have helped to bring global awareness to the use of child soldiers and the severe impact of armed conflict on young lives. With a deep sense of justice, Coomaraswamy played a pivotal role in the drafting of vital United Nations resolutions to protect children in hostile situations. Her dedication to advancing human rights illustrates her as a stalwart advocate and a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable.


Bibi Russell

Bibi Russell This glamorous and famous Bangladeshi fashion designer, who employs tens of thousands of weavers in rural Bangladesh, is definitely one of the Asian women who inspire who comes from a minority country. Bangladesh. Before becoming a designer, she earned a graduate degree from the London College of Fashion and then went on to work as an international model, for names such as Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani.


Sirimavo Banderanaike

Sirimavo Banderanaike It doesn’t come much more amazing than being the first female head of government in the modern world, especially when she achieved this feat in Asia. Serving as the Prime Minister of Ceylon/Sri Lanka three times, she was the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. She even managed to regain power for the third time despite living as a political outcast throughout the 1980s. Furthermore, she served as Prime Minister right up until August 2000 (she died in October of the same year), when she was an incredible 84 years old.


Captain Durga Banerjee

Captain Durga Banerjee One of the inspirational Asian women with an outstanding individual achievement: In 1966, this high-flying lady became the first woman pilot of India’s state airline, Indian Airlines, in an industry that is still dominated by men even today. She was also the first woman ever to fly the Tornado A-200.


Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi Definitely deserving of a place on the list of inspirational Asian women, this incredible lady has spent most of her political career under house arrest (including 15 of the 21 years between 1989 and 2010). She is chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar(Burma), and an opposition politician. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and in 2007 became only the fourth ever person to be made an honorary citizen of Canada. In 2012, she was elected to the lower house of the Burmese parliament.

Hopefully, you’ve discovered some amazingly inspirational Asian women, so spread the word. All women deserve more recognition in a world dominated by men, and hopefully things will begin to change when we have women like these to light the way.

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

To the Author: You might want to change your entry about the late Cory Aquino. She was not the "first president" of the Philippines, it must be written as "the first FEMALE president"

Thank you for posting this! I am Asian so I really appreciate it.

hi neecy, nice article but you picked the wron picture for captain durga banerjee.... the woman in the picture is bengal chief minister

Hey, where's Yoko Ono? John lennons wife

I think you may be mistaken with sirimavo Bandaranaike, she didn't exactly bring much for the minorities in her country, in fact she instigated most of the minority community's oppression. Although remaining as a president for such a long time would ordinarily be commendable I believe in the face of Sri Lankan politics that's not very difficult as long as you can oppress half the community!

Nice to see Radhika C. being featured in the list. She definitely deserves more credit for her work. Good article :)

Really, like the list. Truly inspiring. However I do need to point out that picture for number 6 is of Ms. Malta Banerjee instead of Captain Durga Banerjee. Also what about Indira Gandhi- the first woman prime minster in the world.

She is not caption durra Banerjee she is manta Banerjee Indian politician. Given on no. 6

Brilliant!!! We need more of these articles!!!

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