You've seen them on television as exceptional artistes and visionary role models, and we're sure that every time they speak up, you too—just like a million other women across the globe—get goosebumps. Having paved their own way to success, these women are now doing whatever they can for the sake of womankind, and are keeping the fire burning bright, within every eye that dares to dream!
1. Meryl Streep
With a career spanning several decades, the Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy award winning actor is lauded for her craft all over the globe. Meryl Streep recently broke her own record, by receiving her 21st Academy Award nomination for The Post this year but people also look up to her for her immense contribution to women's rights. Besides speaking out on issues like gender pay gap, Meryl Streep has also funded a programme called Writers Lab, an initiative of NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television, a collective of women filmmakers), that supports female screenwriters over the age of forty. Streep is also the spokeswoman for The National Women's History Museum, an institution that aims for greater awareness amongst the public about sexual equality. Do we need another reason to love her?
2. Oprah Winfrey
"I have a strong interest—and now background experience—in helping girls become who they were meant to be," said 64 year old Winfrey. With a life story that is nothing short of inspiring, Oprah is a longtime advocate of female education, and has supported many causes that aim at improving the quality of life for women all over the world. She backs Women for Women International, which supports the financial, educational, and interpersonal needs of women survivors of war, poverty and injustice, as well as Girl Effect, a movement working to end poverty in adolescent women. A self-made, and the world's first black woman billionaire, the philanthropist has also built a school for girls in South Africa through and also talks about women empowerment through her Hearst Communications publication— O, The Oprah Magazine. With a strong urge to better the world, Oprah, one of the most beloved and influential celebs has worked tirelessly and donated millions of dollars to various charities and organisations, most of it diverted to her three foundations namely, The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation.
3. Nicole Kidman
The 'Big Little Lies' star and multiple award-winning actor has amassed a huge fan following, and was appointed goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 2006. Since then, she has addressed International audiences at UN events and raised awareness about violence against women, calling it the "most systematic, widespread human rights violation in the world." The spokesperson for UNIFEM's 'Say NO–Unite to End Violence against Women' initiative, Kidman was also involved with the 'Little Tee Campaign' for Breast Cancer Care to raise money for breast cancer patients.
4. Kristen Bell
A vegetarian since the young age of 11 out of sheer love for animals, Kristen Bell has been voted sexiest vegetarian by PETA more than once. The committed humanitarian became the first global advocate for the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund—a United Nations and civil society partnership supporting women to prevent crises and build peace. "I’m honored to advocate for these inspiring women who are working to end conflict, rebuild communities and advance gender equality," said Bell. In her new role, Kristen will advocate on behalf of local women across the globe who are working tirelessly to make our world a more peaceful and a gender-equal place.
5. Frances McDormand
One of the few performers to achieve the 'Triple Crown of Acting', Frances McDormand established herself as an exceptional actor. She won the Oscar for Best Actress, for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but what she really won, was the attention of the audience when she delivered her acceptance speech, by raising a pertinent point for the cause of women empowerment. "I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen— inclusion rider." She proposed that A-list talent working in Hollywood add riders to their contracts requiring the characters in these movies to "reflect the world in which we actually live", ensuring racial and gender equity on set. In a very wise move, McDormand introduced the theory to a bunch of people who can actually change the scenario, the rare audience seated at the most prestigious award ceremony in Hollywood.
Cosmo, in association with TRESemmé, salutes the monumental effort of these women and many others, who’ve come forward in support of every cause that helps make the world a better place for women.