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Courtesy of Mattel
Girls & Women

These 17 Inspiring Women Are Getting Their Own Barbies

Barbie is rolling out two brand-new doll lines to honor real-life inspiring women and celebrate the recent cultural push for women’s representation, just in time for International Women’s Day on Thursday.

The two series of dolls, the “Shero” line and the “Inspiring Women” line, will honor 17 women and their groundbreaking contributions to science, culture, sports, and history.

The “Shero” line celebrates 14 present-day female role models from around the world, including women like Patty Jenkins, the director of the recent “Wonder Woman” movie and Hélène Darroze, a world-renowned French chef. The Shero dolls represent women of a variety of races, ages, and nationalities, many of whom have defied the odds in male-dominated industries.

“Through its Shero program, Barbie honors women who have broken boundaries in their fields and have been an inspiration to the next generation of girls with a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness,” read a statement from Mattel, the maker of Barbie.

Martyna Wojciechowska, a Polish journalist who has also successfully climbed the seven tallest mountains on earth; Yuan Yan, a ballerina from China; and Lorena Ochoa, a professional golfer from Mexico, are also among the Sheroes.

Some of the women worked in close consultation with Mattel to make their dolls and stories as true-to-life as possible.

"My hope is that everything I do helps more people realise they can do anything they put their mind to," Nicola Adams, a British boxing champion and another of the 14 Sheros, told the BBC.

"Without my own role models, I wouldn't be where I am today.”

With its “Inspiring Women” line, Barbie will also be introducing dolls in the likeness of three historical women — Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Katherine Johnson, the former African-American NASA mathematician and subject of the movie “Hidden Figures.” Each doll will be accompanied by information about its inspiration’s life and accomplishments.

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In releasing the two new series, Lisa McKnight, the general manager of Barbie, said that Barbie has always sought to inspire the “limitless potential in girls.”

“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie, and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” said McKnight.

“Barbie will be honoring its largest lineup of role models timed to International Women’s Day because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see.”

Take Action: Tweet at Influential Companies to #BuyWomenOwned

The first Women’s Day was organized in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America to honor a New York City garment workers strike during which women led the movement against inhumane working conditions. By 1911, women and men across the world celebrated International Women’s Day by marching to demand women’s rights to vote, hold public office, and work, as well as a general end to gender discrimination.

This year, in the wake of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and a movement for gender pay equality, activists are marching under the campaign theme of #PressforProgress.

Global Citizen campaigns on gender equality around the world, including increasing women’s representation. You can join us by taking action here.