With the past year dominated by the global pandemic which has challenged almost every aspect of human life, inspiration, motivation and ideas to shape the future are crucial to society.

To mark International Women's Day on March 8, 24 extraordinary women inspiring change in their communities and areas of expertise have been named as the Bangkok Post 's Women of the Year.

The women we have chosen to honour represent a wide range of fields, from national and international leadership, fashion, retail, arts and culture, finance and security, the digital realm, food, media, hospitality, real estate, science and sport.

They were chosen under the core criteria that they are helping shape our tomorrow, providing an inspiration, driving policy or social movements, and dedicating themselves to advancing knowledge. They also bring experience and passion to the task of improving the community and society at large.

Starting today, the women whose lives we are showcasing as the Bangkok Post's Women of the Year will be profiled in the newspaper and on the website in a specially designed microsite every Monday this month.

In the first Monday, we honour HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya for her dedicated various works, particularly in art and culture fields and equestrianism, that become a source of inspiration to a great number of people. We also honour three female international leaders -- Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) par­ty of Myanmar; Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand prime minister; and Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan president for their great achievements in better changing their countries and promoting gender equality.

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