Most Influential Women And Girls Revealed

Greta Thunberg, Jacinda Ardern, Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama have all been named among the most influential women and girls.

More than 1,400 young women and girls in Australia were asked by Plan Intentional Australia to name their most influential women and girls, and politicians, sports stars, and media personalities were there right alongside among major celebrities.

The survey asked participants to choose from a list developed by a focus group of women and girls, as well as adding "anyone not listed".

The result was a top 10 list of "prompted" and "unprompted" most influential women and girls.

Topping the list for prompted role models were Nobel peace prize winner Yousafzai, actress and gender equality campaigner Emma Watson, climate activist Thunberg, and rising Democratic congressional star Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

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Malala Yousafzai. Photo: Getty.

Topping the unprompted list were New Zealand prime minister Ardern, former US first lady Obama, and Good Place star and 'body neutrality' activist Jameela Jamil.

Australian journalist Jan Fran and author and 10 daily columnist Clementine Ford were named in the 'unprompted' list, while engineer and Sudanese-Australian writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied tied with US anti-gun violence campaigner Emma Gonzalez for ninth place in the 'prompted' list.

Sports stars Ash Barty, Serena Williams and Samantha Kerr were all named as influential, while celebrities like Beyonce and P!nk -- not to mention actress-turned-Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle -- made the list.

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YouTube star Lilly Singh, who came in at number eight on the unprompted list, might be an unfamiliar name to some, but the star is also a talk show host, actress and comedian who ranked number one on Forbes' Top Influencers List in the entertainment in 2017, and this year was named on the 40 most powerful people in comedy.

Lilly Singh. Photo: Getty.

Australians also picked former politicians from both sides of the aisle: former Labor prime minister (and current Beyond Blue chair) Julia Gillard, and former Foreign Minister Julia Bishop.

The survey was compiled to coincide with International Day of the Girl, released by equality charity Plan International Australia in its She Has a Plan: the unique power of girls to lead change report.

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“It may be Day of the Girl today but in reality, 2019, has actually been the year of the girl,” Plan International Australia's CEO Susanne Legana said.

“We’ve seen extraordinary girls and young women everywhere rising up and taking charge of their futures. For every Greta and every Malala, there are hundreds of fearless girl activists in the developing world doing extraordinary work every day to combat child marriage, child trafficking, teen pregnancy and violence."

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It found more than half (51 percent) of the 1,461 respondents aged 12 to 25 found climate change was the number one concern facing society, vastly more than violence against women (18 percent), gender inequality (nine percent) and poverty (seven percent).

Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers brief remarks surrounded by other student environmental advocates during a strike to demand action be taken on climate change outside the White House on September 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: AAP.

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However, the person respondents named as the best person to help build their confidence was their mums, with friends, teachers, dads, and siblings following suit.

Top 10 role models - prompted
  1. Malala Yousafzai
  2. Emma Watson
  3. Greta Thunberg
  4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  5. Serena Williams
  6. Ash Barty
  7. Julia Gillard
  8. Julie Bishop
  9. Emma Gonzalez / Yassmin Abdel-Magied (equal)
  10. Samantha Kerr
Top 10 role models - unprompted
  1. Jacinda Ardern
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Jameela Jamil
  4. Jan Fran
  5. Rosie Batty
  6. Beyonce
  7. P!nk
  8. Lilly Singh
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Clementine Ford