Our ten favourite women of all time…

Over the last four weeks, we have run a Women’s Season here at Kettle to celebrate all that it is to be a woman as well as to highlight some of the continuing issues regarding gender equality and women’s rights around the world today. As part of this Season, we polled Kettle readers to discover who your favourite women of all time were.

The poll was very simple – we weren’t necessarily concerned with who was the most righteous or the most influential or indeed who had done the most for society. We simply wanted to discover who your favourites were. We even allowed people to choose fictional characters – just to keep the whole thing lively, you understand!

So, to round off our wonderful Women’s Season, here is a countdown of Kettle’s favourite women as voted for by you!

10) Beyoncé

Famous for hit songs such as Crazy in Love, Déjà vu and Single Ladies, it’d be rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of the ‘Queen of Pop’. Although slightly controversial, many consider Beyoncé to be a strong role model. With meaningful and empowering lyrics, a healthy body image and great confidence, Beyoncé is a great woman to look up to. She also knows how to bust a few moves:

-8) Angelina Jolie Pitt

Having taken the world by storm as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider Series, Angelina Jolie Pitt is now a household name. Having starred in everything from Salt and Mr & Mrs Smith to Maleficent and Shark Tale, she is certainly a multi-talented all-round actress. She’s been awarded for such talents with many awards including several Golden Globes and an Oscar!

Today, Jolie Pitt is perhaps better known for her humanitarian and charity work where she has worked tirelessly to make a difference. The projects created, charities supported and publicity gained for these causes by Jolie Pitt are too numerous to mention here, but you can find more information here.

-8) Queen Elizabeth I

Considering the issues that she faced and the time in which she lived, Queen Elizabeth I should not have been as successful and influential as she was. A strong and determined Monarch, Elizabeth reigned for over forty year and today is known as ‘The Virgin Queen’. She is also known for her intelligence. Tutored from a young age, Elizabeth was a brilliantly minded woman, especially when it came to languages. As a country, Britain has a great deal to thank Elixabeth for.

7) Laverne Cox

‘Trans is beautiful’.

Best known for her role in Orange is the new black, Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBT activist. As a transgender actress herself, Laverne does much to raise awareness of the trans community as well as black women and the oppression that they face. Cox is thus a great inspiration to many.

6) Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is an artist, who is today famous for her self-portraits. Frida Kahlo is regarded by many as a feminist icon. Her creativity has been celebrated widely and she has been named as an inspiration to many designers.

Frida Kahlo, kettle Mag, Kayley Gilbert

Image: Wikipedia

5) Emmeline Pankhurst

Without a doubt, one of the most important people in British history. A political activist during the Women’s Suffrage movement, Pankhurst is best known for founding the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903. WSPU members are more widely known today as suffragettes. They led increasingly radical campaigns for the right for universal suffrage, which often resulted in the arrest and abuse of many protesters.

In 1928, women gained the right to vote on equal terms with men, much due to the suffragette movement (as well as many other important campaigns) of which Emmeline Pankhurst was a key component.


4) Emma Watson

A much loved and award winning actress, Emma Watson is best known for her portrayal of Hermione Granger, a strong-willed, brilliantly minded character from the Harry Potter series. She has since gone on to star in many other wonderful films including The perks of being a wallflower that have also been largely successful.

More recently, Emma Watson became UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to campaign for women’s rights and gender equality. Watson is a leading light in the UN’s He For She campaign, amongst others.


3) My mum!

Your mum created you, brought you up, taught you how to brush your hair and put on socks. Your mum will always love, care and worry about/for you. Your mum cooks, washes and cleans up after you. Your mum packs you off to uni, and welcomes you home with a few tears and a big hug. Will always be there to support you, the first one you go to with all your worries. Your mum will always be the best mum there is!

2) J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is celebrated by children and adults alike the world over. The fantasy wizarding world has taken the world by storm, as has its talented author, J.K. Rowling. Rowling is a wonderful role model aspiring authors everywhere. She is refreshingly unafraid to court controversy or to speak out when need arises and her public speaking is simply wonderful. Indeed her speech to the Harvard graduates of 2008 has become the stuff of legends. 

She also totally rocks on Twitter:

1) Malala Yousafzi

The youngest ever recipient of the Nobel peace prize, Malala Yousafzi is known worldwide for her incredible story and campaigns. As a young girl in Pakistan, Yousafzi stood up for her right to an education and, for doing so, was shot in the head by the Taliban. Having survived the attack and undergone surgery, Malala continues her activism in support of education for girls. Malala Yousafzi’s passion, strength and determination is a wonderful inspiration to all. Malala received one third of all votes in this poll, you can read more about why we love Malala here.


And there we have it, Kettle Mag’s Top Ten Favourite Women as voted for by you!