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Influential women around the world, inspiring us to do better

Women have changed the world with their strength, opposition, and passion to create a superior future. For time immemorial, women have been considered to be the weaker sex and have always played second fiddle to men. In recent years however, narrowing the gender gap has been one of the most talked about topics; and among all countries of the world, Iceland is one of the top three to close the gender gap – giving women equal rights, equal pay, and an equal voice in sociery. This is one of many reasons why M A Y U is proud to take its design inspiration from Iceland for our unique fish leather products. Today, women around the world are taking a stand against gender inequality. Here are a few women who have played a role in breaking the stereotype and stigma and are changing the world for the better.


Ellen Degeneres

Making a difference every single day, Ellen has proved that kindness can change the world. An American comedian, television host, actress, writer, producer, and LGBT activist, she is the first person to have starred as an openly gay character on prime-time TV. She is a strong supporter of a wide scope of charities concerned with disadvantaged youths, depression and suicide, animal protection, cancer and AIDs, refugees and human trafficking. She gives a platform to people who are trying to make a positive change in the world. Being the generous woman she is, she is solidifying the legacy of Dian Fossey and her five decades of successful gorilla conservation and research. Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund protects and advocates for the world’s most vulnerable animals and wildlife, advancing protection of endangered species and contributing to sustainable development. 



Chinamanda Adichie

Listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Adichie is making a difference in her own way. She has been fiercely outspoken about being a feminist and why everyone should be one. With her 3 famous books, Purple hibiscus, Half of a yellow sun, Americanah she has made a lasting impact on the minds of her readers. She unravels the significance of different stories in various cultures and gives them the representation that they deserve. One cannot judge a culture with a single story, it takes more than that. Adichie’s Ted Talk on “We should all be feminists” was viewed more than 5 million times where she opines that when an individual expresses their anger towards the injustice meted to them, they have the power to bring in positive changes to society.



Sunita Williams

Sunita Williams has proven to be a twinkling star in this era. She holds the record for longest single space flight and the maximum spacewalks in her 195 days spent in other world. She is an inspiration to not just women but everyone. She has taught the world the importance of curiosity, hard work and dedication.



Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates maintains her position as the most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the foundation’s mission to help all people lead healthy, productive lives, she has helped women provide greater access to family planning, health services and education. Gates’ mission is to close the funding gap for female founders, through her investment and incubation company, Pivotal Ventures. She is the first woman to give away more than $40 billion to help people lead healthy, productive lives. She has donated that money four global funds dedicated to combating the death of children: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the Global Polio Eradication Initiative; and the Global Financing Facility.



Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern at 38, is the youngest female leader in the world and New Zealand’s youngest PM in 150 years. She set the goal of making New Zealand the best country in the world to raise a family by promising welfare reforms including a weekly stipend for new parents and an increase in paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks. She also lives up to her promise of making an “empathetic” government, with ambitious plans to tackle climate change and child poverty.
With these women as testimonies, we can agree that every time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women everywhere.
#MAYUreads: ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Fiction award!

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