Women have come so far in their goal to achieve gender equality but even in the 21st century, females everywhere still face gender discrimination. In lieu of this, the United Nations created the International Day of the Girl, which is celebrated every 11th of October, to highlight the struggles girls face in the modern world.
Thankfully, gender equality and feminism have become a major theme in pop culture as of late. So if you ever need your daily dose of girl power, here are some iconic fictional characters you can turn to for empowerment and inspiration.
1. Wonder Woman
In a time when male superheroes were created to bring justice through the use of weapons and violence, Wonder Woman was born because the creator thought it would be more effective for a woman to represent and promote peace. And as controversial as she is in the subject of feminism, I think we all agree that Gal Gadot killed it in the live-action film!
2. Peggy Carter
Though Black Widow and Scarlet Witch dominate MCU on the big screen, Marvel has dedicated a whole TV series to promote girl power. Agent Carter is set in the early days when women were pushed aside and overlooked. Our titular character, Peggy Carter, uses this to her advantage and proves that underestimation is a woman’s most dangerous weapon.
3. Hermione Granger
Hermione isn't dubbed "The Brightest Witch of Her Age" for nothing. She isn't going to apologize for being so shamelessly smart or standing up against racism and oppression against "mudbloods" or any other race deemed inferior. Without Hermione, there wouldn't be seven Harry Potter books because the titular character wouldn't have made it through the first without her!
4. Fa Mulan
Disney Princesses make great role models for young girls but if we had to pick just one to empower them, it would have to be Mulan. Let's face it: all she ever wanted to do was bring her family honor. In her desire to do so, she took her crippled father's place in the army and ended up saving all of China. If that's not girl power, we don't know what is.
5. Katniss Everdeen
Prior to joining the Hunger Games, Katniss had simple dreams - to protect her family and get them through the day. Little did she know that the small act of compassion she showed in order to save her little sister would pave her way to becoming a symbol for a revolution.
6. Daenerys Targeryen
From a mere slave sold by her brother in exchange for an army, Daenerys grew from a timid young lass into a fierce and powerful queen, we mean, Khaleesi. After taking over her husband's army, she proved that she was just as (if not more) capable as a leader. She took the word 'khaleesi' and killed every negative connotation that came with it. And did we mention she has actual dragons? Slay, gurl!
7. Princess Leia
While we all love the fact that more female characters have come forth to save the galaxy, Princess Leia a.k.a. General Organa will always be the most iconic Star Wars heroine of all time. She showed everyone that she was capable of taking care of herself even though she was a princess before it was cool.
It is important that young girls everywhere have female icons they can look up to and hear stories about their fellows conquering great obstacles. So here's to empowering girls everywhere! Who's your girl power icon? Let us know in the comments below!
Banner Photography from HBO