International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. 

We asked TuVida staff to nominate the women who have inspired them. Here are the brilliant responses:

Heather Parfitt nominated Ruby Bridges 

"Ruby Bridges is a lifelong activist for civil rights and racial equality in America. At the age of six, she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in Louisiana in the Deep South of the USA. Until that point public schools were separate for white and black children, until a court ruled that it was unconstitutional for black children to be barred from attending certain schools.

"There was a lot of white people that disagreed with this decision and when Ruby attended the school she had to be escorted by federal officers for her safety and there were violent crowds shouting and throwing things at her. It was a pivotal moment for the civil rights movement."

Rosemary Hawkins nominated Jacinda Ardern

"I’m inspired by Jacinda Ardern. For me she embodies what women can bring to public life. A leader with clarity, compassion, decisiveness, not afraid of the hard decision or saying it like it is – whether during the pandemic, as here, leading and shaping her nation’s response to the Wellington killings and in the very way she has decided to step away from the role of PM. 

"It feels she has always been true to herself. A rare thing for me to feel about a politician!"

Eva Guilds nominated Golda Meir

"Golda Meir was a socialist promoting the idea of ​​equal rights for women. The only female prime minister of Israel, nicknamed the "Iron Lady" long before the nickname stuck to Margaret Thatcher. I admire her for her strength and determination in achieving her goals."

Callum McClean nominated Florence Nightingale:

Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean war, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. She significantly reduced death rates by improving hygiene and living standards. Nightingale gave nursing a favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of the wounded soldiers at night.

Jacqui Finn nominated Mo Mowlam

"Mo Mowlam was born in Watford, where I grew up. She had great charisma, was honest and plain speaker who got on with the job and was prepared to push boundaries and make difficult decisions to give momentum to challenging issues. 

"She represented Redcar as an MP and really understood the issues facing working class communities. As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, she was the first woman ever to hold this post. She oversaw the achievement of the signing of the historic Good Friday Agreement. She met with both sides of the political divide including visiting the Maze prison – unheard of at the time.

"She battled with a brain tumour without telling anyone and not afraid to show the impact in meetings e.g. removing her wig. She was the human face of politics."

Sue Cain nominated Princess Diana:

"She was a people person, even through all her struggles public and private. She served our country as a true humanitarian.

"Her dedication to supporting others just goes to prove no matter where you come from or end up, your time, love and support is the most priceless gift to give. She genuinely cared. I may be from a humble background but I care about people and take strength and happiness from others I support just as Dianna did."

Claudine Murray nominated Dame Deborah James:

"I would say Dame Deborah James has inspired me not to give up and that you can always do more to support others.

"Dame Deborah was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in December 2016 and was told early on that she may not live beyond five years.

"Instead of giving up and retreating to spend time just with her family, she campaigned for more public awareness of bowel cancer, before she sadly passed away from the disease in June at the age of 40. During that time she shared her cancer journey on her Instagram account as well as her podcast; You, Me and the Big C. 

"In the final weeks of her life, she raised more than £6million for Cancer Research UK.  Whilst the NHS have said that record numbers of people have received referrals for suspected bowel cancer following her tireless campaigning." 

Christine Aspin nominated two local charities that she is a trustee for:

"On International Women’s Day I am extremely proud to be involved as a trustee for two women’s charities in my local area. Both charities support victims of domestic abuse and both are predominantly women-led. Being on the board of both charities where  all the members including the CEO and chair are women makes me very proud.

"Please take a look at what these charities do and have to offer and if they can be of a help to anyone you know please share.

"WHAG is a charity founded in 1981 to offer housing and support to vulnerable homeless women in Rochdale. Over time, our work has expanded to include domestic abuse services for women and men across a wider area. WHAG runs projects in Rochdale, Bury, and Cheshire West and Chester. We offer services to vulnerable homeless women in Rochdale, and work with women and men experiencing and fleeing domestic abuse in Rochdale, Bury and Cheshire West and Chester. We support the people we work with to overcome the experiences they have had. We empower them to build up the skills and resources they need to take on a tenancy of their own and keep it in the long term. We give them the information they need to make positive choices about their futures."

"Soul Sisters became a Registered Charity in May 2021, after operating as a community group since the start of 2020. The organisation was founded by Asma Begum, herself a survivor, with her own lived experience of domestic abuse. After fleeing from her marriage and seeking refuge, Asma begun to share her own story through 'Truth to Power Cafe' events held around the country. The positive response led to her creation of a support group for other women like herself. Women needing help through making new connections, developing female friendships, rebuilding self-confidence, reaching out to others for support, dealing with legal advice, family courts, obtaining financial advice and support, and more. The charity, although still small is growing and reaching out to support more people. It is inclusive and also supports male victims of domestic abuse through Soul Brothers. Our overall objective is to relieve the needs of and support those at risk of, or suffering the effects of, domestic violence/domestic abuse (to include sexual, physical, emotional and economic abuse) and their children, particularly, but not exclusively, through one-to-one sessions, peer support, group sessions, mentoring, advocacy and signposting services."

Michal Schumacher nominated Michelle Obama:

"Michelle is a very successful author – her book, Becoming, was not only a hit but a big inspiration…. and a personal favourite of mine!

"She was the first African American First Lady of the USA; a pressure in and of itself. To add to this, she played a really big role in the (successful) campaigns of Barrack Obama.

"She started the ‘Let’s Move’ Campaign – this resulted in multiple accomplishments, such as commitments from schools to cut fat / sugar / salt in meals, better labelling of sodas and she started a garden in the white house – this raised over 80 pounds of produce, in just 10 weeks! She started the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative – helping girls around the world get a quality education, as well as the ‘Reach Higher’ and ‘Joining Forces’ campaigns.

"Aside from these (already) big achievements she had also received a Grammy award, featured on the cover of Vogue THREE times and was named the 2008 TIME Woman of the Year."

Our Essex team nominated Queen Elizabeth II:

"Queen Elizabeth II is the woman who inspired us the most. She reigned over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms for 70 years, making her the longest-serving British monarch in history.

"During her reign, Queen Elizabeth demonstrated unwavering dedication, maintained her composure and remained steadfast in her commitment to her duty with a remarkable ability to adapt to changing times. She faced numerous challenges, from political upheavals, the Covid-19 pandemic and towards the end of her life, personal tragedy.

"For us, Queen Elizabeth II was a true icon and a source of inspiration for people around the world. Her dedication to duty and support for others is what made her a remarkable and inspiring leader."

Emma Sansom nominated Sarina Wiegman

"Sarina Wiegman is the England Women’s National Football Team Manager. Sarina had a successful football career, playing both league and international football.

"As a coach and manager, Sarina has managed two Dutch teams, winning the Dutch championship league and KNVB Cup. She also managed Netherlands women’s team, turning around low morale and leading them to the final of the Women’s World cup as runners up 2019 and winning the UEFA women's championship in 2017.

"Since managing the England women's team from 2021, they have not lost a game and yet again she won the UEFA women's championship.

"As an individual she has won:

  • Best Women’s FIFA coach 2017
  • UEFA Womens coach of the year 2021-2022
  • IFFHS Worlds best Woman National coach 2020
  • BBC Sports personality of the year coach award 2022
  • Honarary CBE 2022

"She is an inspiration to women in football and to those who aspire to be in football, breaking down sterotypes and stigmas and raising the profile of women's football."