Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Friday, 6 March 2015

For International Women's Day We Asked Some Ace Women Which 20 Girls Make The World A Better Place?

The Debrief: These 20 Incredible Girls Make The World A Better Place. Learn Their Names Now (If You Don't Already Know Them).

International Women’s Day is this Sunday (8 March). A day to celebrate all the amazing women around the world. So we asked some seriously kick-ass women to come together to tell us which girls in their twenties (and a few who are even younger) they think make the world a better place for us to live in. Here’s who they came up with:



Lena Dunham

‘When Tiny Furniture first hit the screen a lot of people said the writer/director might be the next Woody Allen. Five years and four seasons of Girls later, I think Woody Allen is aspiring to be the next Lena Dunham. She’s a genius. I love her.’

Kate Tempest

‘South London poet, playwright and spoken word performer. She has already won the Ted Hughes Award and been nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her wisdom is incredible. My grandchildren won’t believe I was alive at the same time as her.’  

Polly Stenham

‘I had the joy of interviewing Polly Stenham for the National Theatre after a performance of her traumatic play Hotel. She is both intimidatingly intelligent and mischievously lovely. Her first play That Face was written when she was 19 and debuted at the Royal Court to rave reviews – she’s living proof of what can be done with raw talent and balls.’

Yasmin Evans

‘Yasmin is one of the coolest young voices on the radio, hosting the 1 Extra breakfast show. This January, she travelled to Uganda for Comic Relief and filed a devastating report on Operation Health. She also wears really nice shoes.’

Follow Emma On Twitter: @EmmaFreud



Eliza Rebeiro 

‘Eliza set up Knives Not Lives at just 14. Now 21, she’s a very impressive young woman who turned her life around to help others.’

Franki Hackett

‘As media officer at Women’s Aid, Franki tirelessly promotes this brilliant charity’s cause, thinking of new and effective ways to get the word out on behalf of women rendered voiceless.’

Yas Necati

‘A brilliant grassroots campaigner, she’s showing young people how to make real change and get bothered. No More Page 3, Telegraph Wonder Women, Better Sex Education Campaign – you name it and she’s there. And she’s still at school!’

Laura Pankhurst

‘Great great granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline, she is continuing her family work of campaigning for women’s rights with her mum, Dr Helen Pankhurst. She and her mum marched in the Olympic opening ceremony and are leading the Care International Walk In Her Shoes this Saturday for International Women’s Day. She combines this with her university degree!’

Follow Emma On Twitter: @EmmaBarnett



Mary Benson

‘Fashion graduate Mary was selected to show her collection as part of this year’s Fashion East in the London Fashion Week just gone. She has the perfect mind that embraces the best of the past and future when it comes to designing. She is also warm, wicked, open minded, and very fun.’

Laura Dockrill 

‘Writer, poet, illustrator, spoken wordsmith, this amazing girl had a book deal before the age of 25. Laura is loud with a mission to engage young people in literature. She visits schools in rainbow colours and blue lipstick, writes books about a kick-ass school kid called Darcy Burdock, and is now writing songs for pop stars too.’


‘This musician, makes songs to make you dream too. She’s just released a beaut of an EP called Sea Creatures, and her voice takes you somewhere beautiful. One to watch if there ever was one.’

Maria Ines Gul

‘An illustrator and experimenter, Maria sketches for Rookie Magazine, for which she has spent hours drawing the wardrobes of wondrous people. It was her Bat For Lashes pics for Rookie that caught my eye. She’s now turning some of her pictures into embroidery. The future is bright.’

Follow Gemma On Twitter: @GemCairn



Laura Bates

‘Gender inequality is the biggest global injustice we face today. Through her Everyday Sexism Project, Laura has thrown a harsh and much-needed light on the reality facing women in the UK, encouraging them to stand up and say “This isn’t right”.’

Meltem Avcil

‘Meltem was taken into Yarl’s Wood immigration centre at only 13. Since then, she’s campaigned tirelessly alongside Women for Refugee Women to end detention for female asylum seekers. More than 52,000 people have signed her petition calling on Theresa May to end this shameful practice.‘

Kali Perkins

‘Singer-songwriter Kali is one third of band Too Hot For Candy, who are supported by creative arts organisation Heart N Soul, which provides creative spaces for people with learning disabilities. Kali has a leadership and mentor role at Heart N Soul, is an MP for the People’s Parliament in Lewisham and has recently become a Southbank Centre Youth Ambassador.’

Rosie Brighouse

‘Since joining Liberty as legal officer in 2013, Rosie’s impact has been huge. She’s a passionate defender of victims’ rights and the rights of people in detention, has led many Liberty interventions in the Supreme Court and is currently challenging the Mayor of London over his decision to fence off Parliament Square Gardens, preventing planned peaceful demonstrations from going ahead.’

Follow Shami On Twitter: @LibertyHQ



Ikamara Larasi

‘As a campaigner for Imkaan, a black feminist organisation dedicated to addressing violence against women, Ikamara works amazingly for the representation of black women in the media and in every sector.’

Daisy-May Hudson

‘Housing is a huge issue for any girl in her twenties, and no one understands that more than Daisy, who after finding herself homeless a few years ago now specialises in campaigning and writing about inequality and social injustice in the most brilliant of ways.’

Susuana Antubam

‘Students make up a huge part of The Debrief readers, and as NUS women’s officer, it’s Susuana’s job to campaign on all work to do with female students and women's liberation.’ 

Laurie Penny 

‘Journalist and blogger Laurie aka Penny Red isn’t afraid to say/write/tweet the things others are scared to. She’s written a casual five books, including the brilliant Unspeakable Things – all about modern day feminism.’

Follow The Debrief On Twitter: @TheDebrief

You might also be interested in: 

Was 2014 A Tipping Point For Feminism? 

An Open Letter To Women Who Don’t Need Feminism: Here’s A Clue – You Do 

Anti-Feminist ‘Political Leader’ Says Fat Women Are Like Plants 

Tags: Feminism