10 Inspiring Women from Around the World

How do you define the OROGOLD woman? Is she smart or beautiful? Is she a celebrity or a commoner? Is she rich or poor? Well, being an OROGOLD woman has nothing to do with your social status or your celebrity factor. What it does require is for you to be selfless, dedicated, strong, inspirational and beautiful – on the outside as well as the inside. We believe that an OROGOLD woman lies inside every woman, it’s just about understanding her and nurturing her. Continuing our celebration of Inspiring women from around the world we bring to you 10 more inspirational women from around the world.

Karren Brady posing at the Wellchild AwardsKarren Brady

Karren Brady is a politician, author, TV broadcaster, sporting executive and a newspaper columnist. She became popular across the world as the former Managing Director of the Birmingham City Football Club, the current Vice Chairman of the West Ham United Football Club, the aide to Lord Alan Sugar in “The Apprentice” and the Small Business Ambassador to the UK Government under David Cameron. Karen is popularly known as the First Lady of Football and she became the first women to hold a post in English Football at the tender age of 23. She also became the youngest managing director of a UK plc and has also published 2 novels.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Brady took on the world of football by its head when she got chosen to work in the top level management of a top flight football club. Brady worked in the football boardroom during a period when most women were content with just bringing in the tea. She ran a football club at a time when it was unimaginable for a woman to run a business. What made her even more special was that Brady managed to transform a club in administration to a club that was floated on the stock markets.


Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich is an IT professional who developed a range of tools for crowdsourcing crisis information. Juliana is also the Executive Director of Ushahidi, an open source software project that offers crisis reporting and information. Ushahidi first came into existence in the Kenya presidential election crisis in the year 2007 – 08. It is now being used in a number of countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Japan, Haiti, Tanzania and Pakistan. Apart from being an IT professional, Juliana is also known to be a celebrated blogger on afrigadget.com.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Juilana’s revolutionary ideas made it easier to harness the internet’s power to uncover acts of crime and violence. Juliana is well respected for her knowledge about African technology and is presently busy making a second version of Ushahidi, a version that promises to be far better than the first one. Juliana is also known for her love for the environment and her support to tree conservation projects.


Tanni Grey-Thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson is a wheelchair racer, TV presenter and a parliamentarian who was born with spina bifida and has been a wheelchair ever since. Despite her challenges, Tanni went on to become one of the most successful disabled athletes in the UK and also graduated with a BA (Hons) degree from the Loughborough University in the year 1991. Tanni’s international career began in the year 1988 when she won a bronze medal in Seoul. Her last participation in the Paralympic Games was in the year 2004 where she managed to win 2 gold medals for 400 and 100m wheelchair racing.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Tanni amassed a total of 16 medals in her Paralympic career and completely changed the way the world looked at Paralymic sports. Tanni is the proud holder of as many as 30 world records. She was chosen as the Vice President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and also became an Ambassador for the International Inspiration. Tani is a source of inspiration for millions of young girls and women around the world and she is particularly devoted in helping disabled children overcome their difficulties and offering them with a level playing field to showcase their talents.


Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-born American who is best known as the Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo. Indra has consistently been known to rank among the 100 most powerful women in the world and is famous for her strong vision and hard work. Indra joined PepsiCo in the year 1994 and went on to become its CEO just 7 years later. She has directed the global strategy for the F&B giant for more than 12 years and was in charge of PepsiCo’s restructuring. According to the Business Week, PepsiCo has managed to increase its revenues by 72% ever since Indra took over and the net profits doubled in the year 2006.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Indra Nooyi doesn’t shy away from helping women in need and assisting minorities in the world of business. She believes that if someone is a woman and a person of color, she is at a double disadvantage. If the person in question is an immigrant as well, that’s thrice as worse. To justify her theory, she worked thrice as hard and put in more hours than most men. She sacrificed the best years of her life to get where she is and she’s known to be immensely proud of her journey. What makes her so inspirational is her phenomenal rise from her humble middle class background to becoming one of the most powerful women on the planet – that too on her own.


Carol Bartz

Carol Bartz is an American Busineswoman and the former President and CEO of Yahoo! as well as the Former President, CEO and Chairman of Autodesk. Bartz became the first woman CEO of Yahoo and was one of those people who simply knew how to inspire others. She started off her career with 3M in the year 1976, but soon moved to the world of computers. Her journey also included jobs in Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Carol Bartz is considered to be a rarity, particularly as a senior lady in the technology business. What made her so inspiring was that she took on jobs such in computing and manufacturing companies when most women ended up as nurses or teachers. She was also subjected to discrimination in her career, but she made sure that it never affected her work, her output and her vision. She might not be well loved by all, but she definitely has her fair share of admirers.


Sampat Pal Devi

Sampat Pal Devi, a name most of you are still unaware of, is the leader of Gulabi Gang, a group of women activists in India. Sampat, a mother of 5 and a former health worker for the Indian Government, founded the Gulabi Gang to protect women from violence and domestic abuse. Her gang used to visit abusive husbands and make sure that they stop abusing their wives. The group is believed to have as many as 400000 members today along with a chapter in Paris as well. Kim Longinotto made a movie “Pink Saris” revolving around the Gulabi Gang which was followed by the Nishtha Jain documentary Gulabi Gang”.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Sampat came up as a symbol of home in northern India and saved countless women from domestic abuse and violence. Dressed in pink saris, she created and organized an all women vigilante force to help others. Born as the daughter of a shepherd and married to an ice cream seller at the age of 20, she taught herself to read and write. Her most inspirational moment? She became the glitter of hope for millions of women in rural India – a society where women are still subjected to discrimination, not allowed proper education, bartered off for money and married off way too early.


Franny Armstrong

Franny Armstrong is a British film director who works for her own company, Spanner Films. She is also a former drummer for the Band of Holy Joy. Franny is known for three major movies, Drowned Out, The Age of Stupid and McLibel. She became a pioneer in using crowdfunding for creating independent films. Her most recent project is the 10:10 campaign, a project that was founded in the year 2009 in the UK and is now active in more than 50 countries.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Franny took herself to new heights with the 10:10 campaign, a campaign based on a simple idea that allowed for immediate practical action. Countless businesses and individuals joined Franny in her goal to cut down carbon emissions by 10% and David Cameron announced that the UK government would also take part in the campaign days after it was announced.


Lubna Hussein

Lubna Hussein is a Sudanese Muslim who works as an activist and a media worker. She became the center of attention in the year 2009 when she was prosecuted for wearing trousers. Her case received a cause célèbre for a number of organizations such as Amnesty International and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Lubna was asked to go to trial after she was arrested for wearing trousers. She went on to state “whip me if you dare” to the judges in Sudan, the place where she was arrested. Hussain immediately became a symbol of oppression against women in countries that had strict interpretations of the Islamic law. Her courage and steely determination that made her fight against the entire system made her an inspirational figure for countless women being harassed and deprived of their basic human rights in different places all over the world. Despite constant death threats, Hussein remains to be involved with women’s rights in Sudan even today.


Shirin EbadiShirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer and a human rights activist who founded the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. Ebadi was conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts towards human rights and democracy, particularly refugee rights, women’s rights and children’s rights. Shirin went on to become the first Iranian to receive the Nobel prize. Ebadi has lived in the UK since the year 2009 in exile and was also listed as one of the most powerful women in the world in the year 2004. She was also included in the list of the 100 most influential women of all time.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Ebadi became the first female judge of Iran at the tender age of 23. She was also described as the worst nightmare of hardline clerics and she believed that her fight was against patriarchy, not against Islam. Ebadi was demoted to the post of a secretary in her own court, simply because the regime believed that women were unsuitable to become judges. Not being deterred by her state, Ebadi  went on to become the most high profile human rights activist of Iran and worked at the grassroots level to make life better for women in Iran.


Fatema Mernissi

Fatema Mernissi was born in the year 1940 in Fes. She studied political science at the Sorbonne and the Brandeis University. Mernissi is an Islamic feminist who was mainly concerned with women’s role in Islam. She was the one who cast a doubt on the validity of certain Islamic traditions and has extensively written about life within harems, public and private spheres and gender. Mernissi currently works as a lecturer at the Mohammed V University in Rabat and is also known to be a Research Scholar for the University Institute for Scientific Research, Rabat.

Most Inspirational Achievement

Fatema Mernissi fearlessly tackled some of the most controversial customs and traditions in the Muslim world. From polygamy to veils, she managed to raise a number of questions and cast numerous doubts on certain Islamic customs and traditions that were followed in Islamic countries. Despite having grown up in a domestic harem trapped among her mother, female relatives and grandmother, Fatema managed to shatter worldviews by becoming a professor of Sociology at the Mohammed V University, Rabat.


We hope that these 10 ladies continue to inspire countless fans across the globe for years to come. We wish them all the very best in their careers and hope to hear many more success stories. However, we would also like to encourage you – yes, you – to  let us know about your stories. Do you have the qualities of an OROGOLD woman? Do you know someone who embodies the OROGOLD woman? Share your stories with us and if your stories are truly special, they may be featured on our site!



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