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4 Most Influential Women Today

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There are many women who can be described as role models but we have taken a look at four extraordinary women who have dedicated their lives to helping the world become a better place. In celebration of Human Rights Day coming up, we have chosen four of the most influential women that have inspired millions of people across the globe. 

Aung San Suu Kyi
Born in 1945 in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi is well known for her work in bringing political justice, education and medical funds to the people of her country. She attended Oxford University and studied philosophy, politics and economics, eventually joining the UN Secretariat as assistant secretary and volunteered her evenings and weekends at various hospitals. She later returned to Burma to help her sick mother and became involved in local politics. She is the only person to have won the Nobel Peace Prize while being incarcerated at the time. The prize was accepted by her two sons on her behalf. Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to use The Nobel prize money to establish health and education trusts for the Burmese people. 

Mia Farrow
The American born actress, model and activist, Mia Farrow has dedicated her time to bringing attention to the issues surrounding human rights violations, and particularly children's rights violations within Africa. Her work helped bring much-needed awareness to many 1st world societies of the conflict happening in many areas in Africa, especially Sudan. She has also helped in the fight to eradicate polio in children across the continent. Mia Farrow has won several awards for her work and has been named by Times Magazine as one of the most influential women in the world.

Oprah Winfrey
Known as the "Queen of all Media", Oprah is well known for her philanthropic causes. She has personally donated $400 million (R5,731,124,000,00) to educational causes, as well as providing 400 scholarships to university students. She was the first recipient of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002. Oprah brought attention to South African children living in poverty and with HIV and AIDS. During her visit to the country, she gave 50,000 Christmas presents to children in orphanages and schools in poverty stricken areas as well as providing them with school supplies. In 2007, she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, giving young girls the opportunity for world-class education and to thrive in their lives. 

Yoani Sanchez
A Cuban blogger who is well known for her critical stances and portrayal of life in Cuba, Yoani Sanchez has dedicated her life to fighting for freedom of speech in her home country. Her blog has been censored in Cuba by their government, but has been published and translated by friends living outside the country, and is available in 17 languages. Times magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2008, saying "Sánchez has practised what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech". Yoani has been abducted and arrested for her efforts, however, she continues to write for her blog.

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