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International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th and is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. It’s a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day this year by commending the women who inspire us and who have challenged, shaped and smashed the norm. Take a look below at some of our fave women, past and present, their truly inspiring stories and inspirational quotes to live by…

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Who: Emmeline Pankhurst

Why she inspires us: Emmeline Pankhurst was an incredible woman. She was the leader of the suffragette movement and campaigned passionately for women to achieve the right to vote. We owe a lot to Emmeline and we even named our best-selling Emmeline bra after her!

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Who: Rosa Parks

Why she inspires us: Also known as "the first lady of civil rights", Rosa Parks was an NAACP secretary and ‘Mother of the Movement’. By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, Rosa Parks helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States.

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Who: Maya Angelou

Why she inspires us: Not only was Maya Angelou a world-famous author, she was also a poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar and is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style. She is best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman.

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Who: Oprah Winfrey

Why she inspires us: Oprah Winfrey is a remarkable and inspirational icon. Born into poverty, Oprah made herself a promise when she was just four years old: that she would have a better life. Through hard work and perseverance she lived up to that promise, becoming the only African-American billionaire in America—and one of the most respected celebrities in the world.

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Who: Michelle Obama

Why she inspires us: Michelle Obama is a lawyer, writer and the wife of the 44th president of the US, Barack Obama. Michelle Obama captivated audiences everywhere from the moment she stepped into the public eye. From her iconic fashion looks to her contagious positivity, the former First Lady has inspired us to prioritize self-care, use our voices for change, and be ourselves — unapologetically. She has become a role model for women all over the world and continues to empower, educate and inspire us every step of the way.

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Who: Coco Chanel

Why she inspires us: Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer and business woman. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette" and popularising a sporty, casual chic look as the feminine standard of style. Chanel is a true inspiration for all women and paved the way for many after her.

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Who: Katie Piper

Why she inspires us: Katie Piper is an inspirational author, TV presenter, model and philanthropist, who rose to fame after overcoming a horrific acid attack in 2008. Katie has since then battled back to inspire millions of young women. Katie launched her Katie Piper Foundation in 2009 to raise awareness of the plight of victims of burns and other disfigurement injuries. The charity campaigns for specialist treatment to be more widely available to patients in Britain and also offers workshops with top makeup artists. Fearless, beautiful and determined, Katie Piper is a true inspiration to us all.

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The theme of IWD this year is #BalanceforBetter, empowering women to stand up worldwide and mark the occasion in any way that they can. Anyone can celebrate IWD, and whether you want to venture outside or stay at home, here are a few ideas of things to do to help you celebrate this special day…

First things first, learn the history of International Women’s Day. IWD celebrates the accomplishments of women, as well as recognizing their achievements and the struggles that they've gone through. It was a part of the labor movements that began in the early 1900s in America and Europe. Be more informed about this historic day by reading up on women throughout the world and history who have made a difference.

Secondly, get your girls and celebrate! What better excuse is there than IWD, to get all your best gals together for a night in! Why not host a movie night celebrating women in film, this will be hands-down one of the most empowering nights you will ever have with your gals! Pssst… don’t forget the popcorn! If you can’t get together, send a message to your besties and tell them how awesome you think they are!

Or why not get your philanthropy on? There’s no shortage of amazing organisations and charities working tirelessly every day to help women around the world and in your own city. Take today as your starting point to get involved and put your awesomeness to work!

And don’t forget to practice some self-love! Self-love isn’t trend, and isn’t something we should do only when we feel like it. It’s a practice that needs to be added to our everyday lives! Buy yourself some flowers, do some yoga or treat yourself to your fave food! No matter how you do it, do it for yourself girl!

However you’re choosing to celebrate this year, don’t forget that being a woman is a superpower in itself, be kind to yourself today and every day.

Love Miss B x