5 unforgettable female characters for International Women’s Day

female characters women's international day

It’s International Women’s day on March 8th and we thought we would put together a list of 5 unforgettable female characters to celebrate.

These women and girls are powerful, curious, interesting, unconventional and more. They represent the best and—in one case—the worst of humanity and they will continue to be central characters in literature for many years to come.

  1. Alice 

Alice of Alice in Wonderland is an intelligent, curious young girl who finds herself in a strange place after following a white rabbit down a hole in the ground. She talks to caterpillars, animals and mad hatters, and has to avoid a scary queen who enjoys chopping off people’s heads!

Aside from being a classic and entertaining fantasy story, Alice stands out as being a strong character and is well loved by girls and boys everywhere.

Find Alice in Wonderland in the Pearson English Readers catalogue.




  1. Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet is the heroine of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This classic story tells the tale of Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters. Elizabeth is told she needs to marry a man for economic security, but she wants to marry for love.

She is one of our favorite characters because she is intelligent, goes against convention and follows her heart.

Find Pride and Prejudice in the Pearson English Readers catalogue.




  1.  Lady Macbeth

When it comes to important female characters, you don’t get much stronger than Lady Macbeth; a multi-layered and memorable person.

Her husband Macbeth is a soldier and loved by the Scottish King Duncan. One day he meets three witches who tell him that he will eventually become King.

Once she hears about the meeting, Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to make plans to kill King Duncan. She is the driving force behind Macbeth’s decision to murder the king and take his crown. Though not likeable at all, Lady Macbeth is one of the most striking of Shakespeare’s tragic and flawed characters, and certainly deserves a place in this list.

Find Macbeth in the Pearson English Readers catalogue.


  1.  Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is the main character in this classic British novel of the same name by Charlotte Brontë. Jane is a lovable woman who grows up as an orphan in a poor household and is looked after by a mean aunt. Eventually she leaves home to go to school. She becomes a teacher and falls in love with Mr Rochester. But things aren’t everything they seem to be!

We admire Jane because she overcomes tragedy and is always determined to survive. Her great attitude makes her one of the strongest and most important female characters in this list!

Find Jane Eyre in the Pearson English Readers catalogue.



  1. Jo March

Little Women is set in the 19th century, during the American Civil war. Jo March is one of four sisters and she is frustrated that she cannot join the war effort with her father. She wants to be a writer and do great things, she never wants to get married, and she definitely doesn’t want to be left out of things.

We love Jo’s attitude, her character development though the book, and the fact that she’s a rebel!

Find Little Women in the Pearson English Readers catalogue.




The things we enjoy most about the women in this list is that they all have strong personalities, and they all have dreams and desires – whether positive or negative. They can be good, they can be bad, just like the people we know in our everyday lives.

Readers have enjoyed these stories for hundreds of years and they have inspired women and men everywhere, and on this International Women’s Day we are celebrating strong female characters!

Discover more classics like these over on the Pearson English Readers website.


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