Girls Against: Bold For Change Inspo This International Women's Day
These gals are campaigning to stop groping at gigs, and nailing it.
Girls Against is a campaign that was originally set up in 2015 by five best friends – Hannah, Bea, Anni, Anna and Ava - who wanted to do something about groping at gigs. Even though they’ve been managing school as well as running the campaign, they’ve now gathered more than 3000 followers on Facebook, they were on the NME Person Of The Year 2016 list, and they’ve received support from high profile artists like The Vaccines and The 1975.
And since the theme this International Women’s Day is ‘Bold For Change’, we caught up with some of the gals from Girls Against who are TOTALLY bold in setting out and committing to changing things for the better, to find out what IWD is all about to them.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Bea: For me International Women's Day is a special day as it celebrates and shows respect for women and our achievements. I think this is really important as it's great to acknowledge all the wonderful things women are doing and share that together. Especially since being in GA, it's really great to have a day where we can reflect on everything we have achieved as four teenage girls and think about and thank all the strong and amazing women we have been working with.
Hannah: International Women's Day is a day for us to celebrate who we are and all the amazing women who have come before us who have fought for us to be in the position we are in. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the change that still needs to happen and the women across the country who have not reached the level of equality we have.
Do you think it’s still necessary or relevant in 2017?
Bea: I think IWD is definitely still relevant. We still have a long way to go in accepting complete equality between men and women, and this day is really for women to appreciate themselves, and be appreciated by others for our achievements - that sometimes go unnoticed. Especially with the changing politics at this time in our lives, I feel IWD 2017 is particularly important in reminding all women how strong we are, and how much we can achieve.
Hannah: Absolutely! There is still massive gender inequality which is the root of many other social issues. Women in less developed countries than us do not enjoy the same privilege we do, so IWD is a day to recognise them and take a hard look at the truths of the inequality that still exists. It's also, like I said, a day to celebrate the women who have come before us and should be recognised for everything they've done for us!
What about ‘being bold for change’? What does that mean to you as a group of young women living, studying and working in 2017?
Bea: This statement, for me, sort of acts as an encouragement for young people to go out and make a change. 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. Being ‘bold for change' suggests we have to start fighting for things to change, we are the future!
Hannah: I think it's necessary! 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. That’s something that we've learnt through running Girls Against and something taught to us by our families. We have to stand up for ourselves and our sisters across the world.
Tell us a bit about why you guys decided to create Girls Against? And what’s next for you all?
Bea: We decided to make Girls Against as we figured that sexual assault at gigs has been going on far too long without the issue being addressed. After we’d all experienced uncomfortable experiences at gigs, we knew that more needed to be done to stop this from happening. We first set up the campaign as a support system just to raise awareness among victims that it's ok to speak out, but now we've turned into much more - creating security action plans and working with victim support charities, festivals, bands and many more to help fight this issue.
Hannah: We decided to set up Girls Against after a series of incidents we'd experienced and hearing about our friends being assaulted. We noticed that there was no one targeting the issue specifically so decided to take matters into our own hands.
We want to keep doing what we're doing! We want to keep raising awareness of the issue and getting more venues and security companies to analyse what they can do to help. We'd like to keep expanding internationally and getting more and more high profile bands and musicians on board from all genres!
Which women inspire you to be bold?
Bea: Personally, aside from some of my favourite female artists from my childhood e.g. Lady Gaga (who never failed to inspire me to be unique and true to myself), it's been the inspirational and powerful women in my family who have inspired me to be bold, as well as the other wonderful girls in GA - without their support I probably would not have been as inspired as I am at the moment.
Hannah: Definitely my mum of course! She's an amazing woman who has raised me and my siblings single-handedly! Also the rest of Girls Against, we all love each other so much and it's so nice having such an encouraging group of best friends around me. We wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for the work we each put in and seeing each other work hard to fight this issue encourages me to keep going.
Feeling inspired? Us too.
Happy International Women’s Day ladies!
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