This International Women鈥檚 Day we鈥檙e celebrating the women who are


daring to make waves, smash barriers, and build a better future for womankind. Meet: The future of feminism.

Ashima Shiraishi

Ashima Shiraishi

Who She Is:聽Ashima Shiraishi, professional rock climber.

Where She鈥檚 From: New York City.

Claim to Fame:聽At just 15 years old, Ashima Shiraishi has聽already accomplished more than many professional athletes twice her age. A world-renowned rock climber, Ashima began setting records at the incredible聽age of聽eight and it didn鈥檛 take her long聽to start winning gold medals and world titles in climbing competitions around the globe.

Why She鈥檚 a Bold Woman to Watch:聽Born and raised in New York City, Shiraishi聽started聽climbing when she was six, using Central Park and Brooklyn Boulders as her training grounds.聽Fast forward to聽March 2016 and Shiraishi was off to her聽family鈥檚 native Japan where she became the youngest person 鈥攁nd only female ever聽鈥 to climb聽Horizon,聽a boulder located on Mt. Hiei that comes with a difficulty level of V15 out of a possible maximum V16.

Speaking with TIME following her amazing聽accomplishment, Ashima said: 鈥淚n climbing, gender really doesn鈥檛 matter. You鈥檙e just facing the wall. Even if you鈥檙e bigger or smaller than someone, you鈥檙e tackling the same thing. It鈥檚 just your determination and focus and dedication, and that鈥檚 what makes you stronger.鈥

Ashima has singlehandedly managed to break gender stereotypes in the world of rock climbing (and sports in general!) and she鈥檚 just getting started. She could聽soon be one of the first climbers in the world to compete at an Olympic level, as the International Olympic Committee has officially approved climbing to be聽a newly featured sport in聽the 2020 Games聽in Tokyo.聽If she makes the team, Ashima will聽be going聽for gold in the same city where her parents met and where she conquered her first V15 climb.聽Talk about serendipity! (Author: Barbara Pavone. Photo via聽Lars Niki/Getty)

Jazz Jennings

Who She Is: Jazz Jennings is a TV star, popular YouTube personality, spokesperson and LGBTQ+ rights activist.

Where She鈥檚 From: South Florida.

Claim to Fame: At 16 years old, Jennings is one of the youngest and most outspoken transgender public figures 鈥 and has been since her Barbara Walters interview in 2007 when she was just six years old (!).

She鈥檚 insisted she was a girl ever since she could first speak, and while her parents struggled to understand why聽their聽assigned-at-birth male-gender child preferred to wear dresses and be referred to correctly as she, it wasn鈥檛 long before Jazz was living as her true self with the full support of her family.


Why She鈥檚 a Bold Woman to Watch:聽She may have gotten started young, but Jazz鈥檚 star is still very much on the rise. Her wildly popular Youtube channel spawned a TLC reality show called I Am Jazz, now in its second season; in 2016 she released a memoir, Being Jazz, and was asked to be a grand marshal in NYC鈥檚 Pride Parade and she鈥檚 the inspiration behind the first transgender doll to hit store shelves. 鈥淔or those asking: the doll is considered to be the first 鈥榯ransgender鈥 doll because it鈥檚 based on an individual who is trans,鈥 she replied to commenters who asked what made the doll transgender. 鈥淥f course it is still just a regular girl doll because that鈥檚 exactly what I am: a regular girl!鈥 Preach (Author: Nicole Villeneuve. Photos via聽Astrid Stawiarz /Getty.)


WE Day California

Who They Are: Amandla Stenberg, actress, musician, and activist.

Where They鈥檙e聽From: Los Angeles.

Claim to Fame:聽Amandla Stenberg is a nonbinary actor (they聽prefer being addressed with聽pronouns they/them but also okay with聽she/her) who first came on the scene with the popularity of the first The Hunger Games movie when they聽played the character Rue, who strikes a friendship with Katniss Everdeen during the games.

Why They鈥檙e聽a Bold Person聽to Watch:聽Though Stenberg was only 14 when the movie came out in 2012, they decided to use their newfound visibility to speak about the things that matter to her, including activism, cultural appropriation, and intersectional feminism.

You鈥檒l want to keep your eye on聽Stenberg in the coming years because of their uncompromising values, and the way they聽lead by example. They鈥檙e smarter than many folks thrice their age, and they have聽a lot of valuable things to say about the importance of intersectional feminism 鈥斅爀specially in our current social climate. Stenberg has told Nylon: 鈥淏lack female voices need to be uplifted within the mainstream feminist movement, especially at this time. It鈥檚 crucial.鈥 Keep an eye on their current projects and anything they鈥檙e聽doing, because Amandla Stenberg is聽the bomb-dot-com. (Author: Rosemary Donahue. Photo via Mike Windle/Getty.)

Marley Dias

5th Annual Foundation for Letters Gala

Who She Is: Marley Diaz, middle school student and activist.

Where She鈥檚 From: New Jersey.

Claim to Fame:聽Frustrated by the lack of stories that featured聽black girls front and center, then-11-year-old Dias launched #1000BlackGirlsBooks聽in 2016.聽The initiative sought to collect and donate children鈥檚 books where black girls are the main characters.

In an interview with the Philly Voice, Dias described the conversation she had with her mother that inspired the drive:聽鈥淚 told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs. 鈥漌hat are you going to do about it?鈥 [my mom] asked. And I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.鈥


Why She鈥檚 a Bold Woman to Watch:聽Dias may only be 12, but she鈥檚 already got a book deal. The young bookworm and champion of representation in literature has her first children鈥檚 book coming out with Scholastic in Spring 2018. (Author: Kelli Korducki. Photo via Gustavo Caballero/Getty.)

Which young leaders give you faith in the future? Tell us @britandco!

(Illustrations by Sarah Tate/Brit + Co)