The women who inspire us at Mumsnet

Mumsnet staff

Whether it's a political revolutionary or our own trailblazing mothers, we all have at least one female figure to look up to. For International Women's Day (Sunday 8 March), these are the women who have inspired us here at MNHQ.

Laura - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Laura - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress (at 29 years old, no less!). She's bossing it when it comes to calling out corruption within the US government and campaigning for justice of all kinds.”

Lorna - Leslie Feinberg

Lorna - Leslie Feinberg

“Leslie Feinberg, a groundbreaking feminist theorist who wrote a book called Stone Butch Blues about her experiences as a butch lesbian in 70s America. She really was one of a kind, and the work that she did had a huge impact on feminist theory. Her courage to live her truth in an unforgiving world and in the face of such violence is extremely inspiring.”

Tina - My friend Kate

Tina - My friend Kate

“My friend Kate is a big inspiration to me. When I first met her she had a stable, regular job as a social worker in Hertfordshire – then she surprised all of us by announcing she was moving to Guatemala, one of the most dangerous places to be a woman. She went to help young women who’d been victims of sexual violence find safety in a refuge.”

Josh - Marie Colvin

Josh - Marie Colvin

“A woman who inspires me is Marie Colvin, the American journalist. She paid the ultimate price for discovering the truth, and was killed in Syria doing her job. One of the bravest people to ever be a journalist.”

Christine - JK Rowling

Christine - JK Rowling

“JK Rowling. She was a divorced single mum living on state benefits and struggling with depression, yet her resilience and creative genius allowed her to use these experiences to inspire her writing. She ended up making one of the greatest contributions in the history of children’s literature – truly inspiring.”

Murray - My grandmother

Murray - My grandmother

“A woman that inspires me is my grandmother. She moved from London to South Africa when she was young, and got a job at a national newspaper. She put down roots and made a life for my family and I. She was a kind, loving, amazing human being.”

Amika - Phillis Wheatley

Amika - Phillis Wheatley

“Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa, and when she was eight she was enslaved and taken to America, where she learned to read and write in English, Latin and Greek. She wrote a book of poetry when she was twenty, and it was the first book by an African American woman to be published. She was praised by contemporaries like George Washington and Voltaire, and lived the rest of her life a free woman.”

Alex - My aunt

Alex - My aunt

“A woman who inspires me is my aunt. She’s had a rough couple of years – my uncle having ALS – but she always puts on a brave face, her family first, and is super positive.”

Katie - Dian Fossey

Katie - Dian Fossey

“Dian Fossey – what a phenomenal woman. She actively supported conservation efforts, strongly opposed poaching and tourism in wildlife habitats, and put the plight of the gorillas centre stage. Fossey was brutally murdered in December 1985, which was most likely linked to her conservation efforts.”

Natasha - My mum

Natasha - My mum

“The woman who inspires me the most is my wonderful mum. She's always taught me to go after what I want in life, to make the most of every opportunity, and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. It's been so great having someone to say 'You can do it, I believe in you' whenever I've felt nervous about going for something which seems out of reach. Plus, she makes the best pasta sauce and has handed the recipe down to me. I'm eternally grateful.”

Francesca - My mother

Francesca - My mother

“My mother is probably the most inspirational woman in my life. The first person in her family to get a university degree, she was 36 when she became pregnant with me, and that’s when she decided to go back to school. She balanced working part-time, raising me, and going to uni – later obtaining a Masters in Counselling. She always inspires me to go after my dreams, no matter what the obstacles are.”

Kemi - My mum

Kemi - My mum

“It’s weird to say, but I think of my mum as a tree. She’s so rooted and sturdy, and no matter what storms come, she’s always standing tall. She’s tough but caring, and strong enough to handle pretty much anything – all while looking like an absolute queen. I wouldn’t be surprised if she conquered the world tomorrow, and if I can ever be half as much of the boss she is, I’ll have done something right.”