A few words that come to mind when I utter the words 'Empowered Women' and 'Gender Equality' is determination, strength, courageousness and fearlessness. Over time, women have become inspirational leaders who have pioneered and inspired, and who we look up to and admire - I'm sure all women can agree with me. They have inspired us to speak our minds, live our truth and to no longer hold ourselves back.
As we gradually enter the future, the aim is to achieve a more equal and positive world, where both sexes share equal rights within education, general employment, healthcare, political and economic processes.
Women today are working together to knock down the frustrating barriers of gender in-equality, bring forth a positive future and strive to achieve their potential. However, there are still hurdles to jump over and mountains to climb, especially with the crazed dangers that women have faced in the last several months, such as the inappropriate sexual misconducts that women have succumbed to in the workplace environment, which is something we must put a stop to.
Despite the struggles, change is afoot and we have seen improvements over the past several decades, with tremendous strides to achieving equality in women’s rights across the globe. In aid of International Women’s Day, - by far my favourite day of the year, here are five inspirational women who have faced gender equality head on and have achieved huge impact within the feminist movement.
Inspiring legend, activist and educator Angela Davis is known for her powerful voice and involvement with social justice in the Civil Rights movement, Black Panther party, WOW – Women of the World talks and other political protests. Throughout the decades, she has become our eyes and ears by showing us the journey and struggles within Women's rights since the 1960s and leading up to the present day. Her passion has always been to bring the community together and challenging gender justice. As a kind reminder, she is having a 90 min talk at the Southbank Centre, London on Friday 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day. I know this is the last minute, but hurry and get your tickets ladies! You don’t want to miss out on this talk!
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Talented Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known for her well-written novels and short stories such as We Should All Be Feminists, Americanah and Purple Hibiscus. Through her stories, she tries to teach others about her journeys and experiences and encourages women's rights, all whilst maintaining her African roots.
In an interview, she mentions “I have been a feminist as long as I can remember, which is simply to say as a child I was very much aware, that the war did not treat men and women the same way”. At a young age, she was a feminist in the making who was in control of her beliefs and she continues to work towards shaping the world into a better place.
Emma Watson is a feminist and activist who has something to say and is one of the key people for the #HeForShemovement, which encourages not only women but men also to join forces, make a change and act to achieve equality. She has worked very closely with the United Nations to execute this message and to shout from the rooftops about what it means to be a feminist today and what the next step for this movement is.
One of the most strong and fearless young activists of today has made a name for herself by documenting a memoir of her struggles as a student trying to gain access to education in her native country of Pakistan. She has created her own foundation ‘The Malala Fund’ where she continues to encourage girls to achieve the future they deserve. "I'd really encourage women and girls to speak out against any discrimination, any violence that they see in their community, in their society," said Yousafzai.
One of the most renowned poets, storyteller, and writer of the 21stCentury. She was best known for her 1969 memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and attained increased knowledge throughout her careers as an educator, activist, actress, composer, and Hollywood's first black American Female Director. You could say her background was very diverse, but that didn't stop her speaking her mind.
Following her influence from friends such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, she was able to display a level of self-expression and discuss topics including racism, rape, and many other political issues. Angelou had a purpose to speak her truth through her well-written autobiographies and wanted to encourage others to speak their truth. She influenced all women who have faced gender and race discrimination to take a stand and not to suffer in silence.
Finally, we can thank the heavens that there are strong empowered women out there fighting our corner, who are not afraid to stand up and shout out “I’m a badass superwoman and I’m going to speak my truth” and that’s where campaigns such as the #MeToo, #Timesup and HeForShe have received global coverage and responses from followers and publications as well as the social media network. We are making a change, here and now!
Charlene Foreman is a thirty something Londoner, who works as a fashion editorial writer. She has strong interests in art, fashion, photography, lifestyle and travel and enjoys expressing her knowledge and experiences with others.