By Joanna Blaz
From Hillary walking out to a stage of balloons to Queen Bey getting in formation, this year has included powerful moments for females. And it might end with one more: the election of the United Nations’ first female Secretary General. So it was no surprise the roster of 2016 Social Good Summit boasted so many successful women: from politicians to musicians.
Behold four of them, in their fierce glory.
1. Helen Clark
Who is she? Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Achievements: Through the UNDP, Clark focused on eliminating gender-based violence against women and increasing women’s access to the justice system.
Fierce Moment of 2016? In March, Clark gave a speech outlining exactly how to increase women’s role leadership by 2030. And a month later she proved she could also walk the walk: Clark formally announced she was running for Secretary General in April.
Best Quote from SGS: “We just have to learn to have a deaf ear to all the frankly misogynistic things that have been said about women making their way to top positions… Just look straight ahead, put your ear plugs in, and say, ‘I believe I can do this.’”
2. Ertharin Cousin
Who is she? Executive Director of the World Food Programme.
Achievements: Cousin has led food relief efforts for those in need, including during Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Recently, she has used forecast-based financing to spend the money used on disaster relief more strategically.
Fierce Moment of 2016? Cousin has continued to promote WFP’s ShareTheMeal app, which allows users to donate food to children, such as the 1.7 already helped in Lesotho.
Best Quote from SGS: “We can’t keep saving the same lives every year.”
3. Demi Lovato
Who is she? Singer, songwriter and actress
Achievements: Lovato got her start on Disney but continued to top charts with songs like “Confident.”
Fierce Moment of 2016? Lovato spoke out about her own mental health issues at the Democratic National Convention, inspiring many of her fans. Some show up at her concerts with supportive signs. Lovato has also spoken out about her addiction problems and is now four years sober.
Best Quote from SGS: “My mom raised me to help others. Simple as that… and that’s what I continue to do every single day.”
4. Samantha Power
Who is she? U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Achievements: As a Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Power has focused on UN reform and human rights, advocating for refugees. She is a Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Fierce Moment of 2016? She has pushed for equal rights for the LGBT community, speaking out against countries that criminalize same-sex relationships. Ambassador Power, along with the UN’s LGBT Core Group, sponsored a rainbow-colored crosswalk in support of the LGBT community.
Best Quotes from SGS: “Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” “A helping hand is such a gratifying thing to offer.”