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International Women's Day: Who Inspires You?

International Womens Day

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/ 8/2011 8:52 am Updated: 11/17/2011 9:02 am

March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past and present that is observed around the world.

The first International Women's Day was held in 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. Then, over a million men and women attended rallies to campaign for women's rights to work, vote and hold public office.

This year over 200 events are slated to occur in the U.S. alone.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the 2011 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with First Lady Michelle Obama. The awards annually recognize women across the globe who have shown exceptional fortitude in advocating for women's rights and empowerment -- often at great personal risk. This year's recipients include women whose occupations range from blogger to head of state.

"I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century," Clinton told Newsweek in a recent interview.

Though the road to gender equality may still be a long one, International Women's Day is an opportunity to meditate on how far women have already come. In honor of the event's centennial, The Guardian asked women of all ages, from 15 different countries across the world, to share the changes they've witnessed.

"I come from an ethnic Chinese family where the women went from bound feet to Rhodes scholar within four generations," said Regina Yau of Malaysia.

According to Howa Bio of Sierra Leone, "I look next door, to Liberia, and its president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: perhaps with faith and determination, it is possible for us women to achieve anything we set our minds to."

The Daily Beast and Newsweek have compiled a list of "150 Women Who Shake the World," but we, at HuffPost Living, want to know who fills you with "faith and determination." Which woman -- whether she's the First Lady or your mother -- inspires you?

This International Women's Day, we honor the extraordinary accomplishments of women past and present, from trailblazing suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony to the countless unsung heroines working to empower women and girls everywhere. Which woman inspires you? Why? We'd love to hear from you.
Which Woman Inspires You?
 

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