International Women's Day 2017: Gals Who Are Being Bold For Change IRL
International Women's Day inspo.
Ok, so we all get to hear what celebs are doing and saying to support female empowerment, but what about the ladies who aren’t in the limelight?
Since the mantra for International Women’s Day this year is ‘Be Bold For Change’, we want to send a shout-out to all the gals who really are being bold and making changes IRL. They’re doing whatever they can to tackle injustices around them and make the world a better place day by day – basically, making us super-proud to be women.
Celeste Mountjoy is a 17-year-old artist from Australia who has taken off on Instagram under the username @filthyratbag. She might be young, but her art is totes mature and the political and social commentary she makes through it is both funny and entertaining. The way she challenges female stereotypes and expectations of women are particularly brilliant.
Celeste is totally empowered AND empowering, and she’s speaking out about issues affecting women in a new way, inspiring loads of Instagrammers to challenge social norms too. She’s definitely one to watch.
Nadya’s family became homeless when she was just 15, so Nadya spent a lot of time finding out about homeless shelters and their inhabitants. One of the things she realised and was shocked by was that the homeless women she met weren’t given regular supplies of sanitary products, and suffered the consequences every month. So Nadya set up Camions of Care, a charity that gives homeless women the sanitary products they are so in need of. She’s still at university but runs Camions of Care as a global organisation.
She was named a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree during their 2016 Women of Worth celebration. “We’re just so excited that a huge corporation like L’Oréal was taking notice of what really started with us meeting around the lunch table and planning in high school,” she said. “Now we can say we run a global operation with 40 non-profit partners, in 23 states, 13 countries and on 60 campus chapters at universities and high schools across the U.S.” #BOLD.
Girls Against was originally set up by five girls in 2015 - Hannah, Bea, Anni, Anna and Ava - who decided to stand up to groping at gigs. Despite still being at school, they managed to reel in more than 3000 followers for Girls Against on Facebook and more than 16k on Twitter. They were also on the NME Person Of The Year 2016 list, and artists like The Vaccines, Frank Turner and The 1975 have all shown support for their cause.
“I guess what I have learnt is that, if there's an issue that can be prevented, you have the ability to make that change, you just gotta do something different that catches people’s attention,” Bea from Girls Against told us. “'Being bold for Change' suggests we have to start fighting for things to change, we are the future… I feel IWD 2017 is particularly important in reminding all women how strong we are, and how much we can achieve."
Hannah agreed. “At this point we have to be bold and we have to keep fighting for the change we want to see in the world because unfortunately no one is going to do it for us, this is something that we've learnt through running Girls Against and something taught to us by or families,” she explained. “We have to stand up for ourselves and our sisters across the world.”
23-year-old Liv Little noticed how there wasn’t much diversity among the student population at her university, so she created mag gal-dem, whose writers were all women of colour, to give them a voice where they were unrepresented so that they could write about issues that affected them most and that they felt most passionately about. Not only has gal-dem created a brilliant platform to discuss race and diversity issues but it’s also a great platform to talk through sexism and gender.
The mag has a huge fan-base, and members of gal-dem were even invited to the V&A museum in London to put on two big events. 2017 also holds big things in store – Liv’s hoping they’re going to move onto creating longer documentaries and more events this year.
Eileen watched a lot of her friends go through abortions and struggle to understand their sexuality at her all-girls Catholic school. She also grew up without a mum or anyone to talk openly with about sex and so, when she moved to New York, Eileen decided things needed to change. Sex education at her school was almost non-existent and it certainly wasn’t enough to prepare and empower girls to make informed decisions.
She created her own sex education platform online, through a blog and Tumblr, to help girls around the world who don’t feel they get adequate sex education and don’t have anyone else to turn to. She’s given young people a platform to discuss things they never would have learnt at school, and empowered them by opening up conversations that need to be had.
Eileen’s become mega influential (she now has about 400,000 followers on Instagram) and is a great resource for so many people that she’s even working on a project with Planned Parenthood this year.
Global movement Hollaback believe that every girl should have the right to walk through the streets without being afraid of harassment
The campaign allows people to post their stories or pictures of harassment they get on the street on their app and on the site to show how often it happens and to change attitudes that excuse it. They especially focus on women and the LGBT community and in the UK they work with Transport For London, Southwark Council and the End Violence Against Women Coalition to make the street a safer and more comfortable place. All because some super bold gals decided to make a change.
Girl Skate India
In 2014, three gals from around the world - Atita, Lisa and Louisa - met while volunteering for an NGO in Kovalam, India. They saw that the situation in Kovalam wasn’t good for women and girls and that there was still a lot of inequality between the sexes, so they sat down to talk about what they could do to change things.
They set up Girl Skate India, which organises workshops run by female skateboarders from around the world for local children. It's all about encouraging young Indian girls to join in and learn skateboarding so that they can not only continue to be fit, strong and healthy, but so that they can be empowered and have belief in themselves and their skills. FYI, Atita and her all-girls skateboarding crew also appeared in the video for Wild Beasts track 'Alpha Female' features. Rad.
These gals have SRSLY inspired us to be Bold For Change this IWD, because if you know you can change something, why not just change it?
Happy International Women’s Day!
Now why not watch this vid of people taking an awkward af game of sexy Would You Rather…