This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. Whether you call on the masses or call on yourself to help build a stronger and better world, we at Silou London are always striving to promote and create more inclusive, gender equal opportunities, where we can celebrate our individual achievements.

It is difficult for some women to recognise their sky-high potential due to gender discrimination that exists in our current society. It is important to break down these gender barriers, and help women across the world recognise their self worth. To celebrate the progress we women have made, we have chosen our top 2017 influential women who are showing us what it means to be bold for change:

 Livia Firth

We care about sustainable fashion and applaud Livia Firth, founder of Eco Age for being an influential spearhead for this cause. Livia is the founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, executive producer of the film True cost and a UN leader for change. Livia is using her voice to make changes in the fashion industry and is a strong role model for women across the world. Her two favourite quotes include: “we start to die the day that we become silent about the things that matter to us” and the second is “Stop bitching and start a revolution.”  

 Salma Hayek

Salma has been a long standing advocate for women’s rights and uses her influential status as an actress to spread the word. Salma uses her voice to raise awareness on the discrimination women face and has co-started the foundation, Chime for Change.  She has faced many gender equality issues throughout her early career. She states “I’m am not a feminist. If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.”

 Emma Watson

At such a young age, Emma Watson has confidently shed light on gender equality and creating a voice for women all over the world. in 2014, she was appointed as a UN GoodWill ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality. Emma Watson has also started a feminist Good reads book club: Our Shared Shelf. The goal of the club is to share feminist ideas and encourage discussion on the topic. We will leave you with this quote from Emma:  “A woman should be able to choose what she wants to do. This is what feminism is all about in 2017.”

 Michelle Obama

Michelle has a degree from both Harvard and Princeton and quite clearly understands the importance of female self worth. Michelle has used her platform to draw attention to women’s rights, an issue she cares most about. “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Michelle uses her platform positively to challenge the world to see women as equals. She is bold, courageous and is creating a movement of change.

Oprah Winfrey

Last but not least, we want to include Oprah Winfrey. To the young or the old, Oprah is a household name and a renowned supporter for women’s rights. She empowers women and girls across the globe and helps to stop the vicious cycle of abuse and the lack of access to education. Some of her accolades include her role in Women for Women international foundation, which helps encourage young girls to complete an education. Oprah also works on the Girl Effect, which works to stop female poverty. Finally, Oprah has built a Leadership Academy in south Africa for young girls. “I have watched them as little girls, literally, blossom into these flourishing young women that are just so dynamic. They’re going to change what happens in their country and in the world.”

From world leaders to actresses, these are just a few of the many women who deserve recognition for their contribution to society. International Women’s Day is about celebrating a woman’s success and breaking down barriers for equality. Together let’s reinforce and support our triumphs. Happy International women’s day.