They are the women that move us to action. They are the women that make us believe we can achieve our dreams. They are the women that encourage us to be brave and ambitious. They are inspiring women.
Inspiring women – it's a phrase which filled my Twitter feed recently. It felt like the internet was divided in two that day. There were those that were staying offline in a 'Twitter silence' campaign. And there were those of us who were refusing to be quiet, and instead were sharing the names publicly of the women who inspired us.
The two opposite types of action were a response to despicable acts of cyber bullying where courageous women who had spoken out and stood up for their beliefs were threatened online with disgusting crimes. While one group of web users decided a day of silence would reflect a world where women had been silenced, another group decided not to be silenced – and they filled my Twitter feed with the names of inspiring women instead.
I too shared the names of two women who had inspired me recently. I wrote of Malala Yousafzai, the now 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who is waging a campaign for global access to education. Just nine months after being shot in the head by the Taleban because she continued to go to school, she took her campaign to the UN and called on world leaders for action.
I wrote to of Senator Wendy Davis who tried to prevent Texas from passing its anti abortion bill. The bill in the end passed, but not before Davis made the world notice that lawmakers were effectively trying to close down the state's abortion clinics and take away the choices and power women had over their bodies.
Afterwards, I also thought of other women. My mother, who constantly inspires me with her tireless energy, her spot-on mother's instinct and her apparent ability to make everything better. A former boss, who got to the top through sheer hard work and buckets of talent, I was in awe of her actions everyday, and she never once compromised her principles.
And I also thought of people like Margaret Thatcher, who never once inspired me with her politics, but instilled in a primary-school aged me the belief that women could do whatever they wanted.
What is it, I've been wondering, that makes these women so inspiring? It isn't fame or notoriety, although these can be consequences of their inspiring actions. No, it is something inside them that doesn't give up. It is the spirit that they are here to do battle – and that's a spirit we can all see, no matter whether or not they wear it on their sleeve. It is a voice they have that demands to be listened to. It is a will they have to succeed that shines through all they do. It is a constant striving to achieve their goals and dreams, no matter how many times they meet obstacles.
Inspiring women are the women that make us believe we too can have a voice. We too can achieve our goals. We too can fight our own battles and champion the struggles of others. Inspiring women are the women who are there in our minds when we step bravely into the world to follow our dreams. We must continue to champion them and their causes to the world and to our daughters, so that they too can follow in the paths of the world's inspiring women.
Kiran is a stay at home mum with a 19-month-old son and newborn baby. She is also a freelance writer and mastering the art of getting both kids to nap at the same time so she doesn't miss her deadlines.
Blogs at: Mummy says