There are so many wonderful, strong, passionate and courageous women out there. However, we don’t often get to hear about how they’re making strides to change our world. Here’s a snapshot of five women who are doing just that, each in their own way. Inspire away.
Jameela is an actress, presenter, activist and feminist at heart. She is well known for speaking out about the representation of women’s bodies in the media and campaigning for body positivity. She started the Instagram movement I-Weigh, a campaign where women share photos of themselves and the things they are proud of or grateful for (a response to a post about the Kardashian’s estimating the weight of each of the women in their family). Jameela is becoming increasingly vocal against society’s expectations of beauty and women’s self-worth being linked to their looks and bodies. Recently she has been outing celebrities advertising weight-loss products, accusing them of false advertising. Instead, she has been using her celebrity status to promote self-love and acceptance, no matter your body shape, size, looks or image.
Rosie was put in the spotlight in 2014 when her son was brutally murdered by his own father at cricket practice. She has been fighting against domestic and family violence ever since, establishing a foundation to help victims of domestic violence in her son’s honour and advocating for victims of domestic violence. She has given voice to thousands of victims and has helped to raise the issues to the public eye. She became Australian of the year in 2015 and launched the Never Alone campaign, asking Australians to stand beside victims of domestic and family violence through neveralone.com.au. She was most recently appointed as an officer in the Order of Australia as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Aretha is a proud young Gumbaynggirr woman from the Mid-North Coast of NSW. She is also an activist, an artist, a model and a feminist. She is most well known for standing up in front of thousands at a 2017 Invasion Day protest in Melbourne and delivering a powerful speech calling for the date of Australia Day to be changed. Her activism doesn’t stop there. She is the youngest person and the first woman to be elected Prime Minister in the National Indigenous Youth Parliament and speaks at schools and public events, such as at the All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House this year. She is also a voice for young queer people, being an openly queer young person and is outspoken for the queer rights movement. She is studying fine arts at the Victorian College of the Arts where she hopes to use her art to share her reality of living in two worlds.
Malala is a Pakistani activist campaigning for female education and human rights. Growing up in Pakistan, she faced the ban implemented by the Taliban, prohibiting girls from attending school. She was inspired by her father (a teacher himself) and his love for education. In 2009 when the Taliban occupied her region, she wrote a blog for the BBC, documenting her experience of life during the occupation. In 2012, while on a bus Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban – an assassination attempt for speaking out against the Taliban. She now lives in the UK where she was transferred while recovering in hospital. Upon recovery, Malala became a well-known international activist for women’s and children’s rights and has co-authored I Am Malala and starred in the Oscar-shortlisted documentary He Named Me Malala. In 2014, she was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and was the youngest Nobel Prize laureate of all time.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda is a Nigerian internationally celebrated novelist. Through her writing, she explores racism and sexism and what it means to be African, an immigrant in the United States and what feminism means to her in the fight towards gender equality. She is invited to speak around the world and she is well-known for her 2009 TED talk ‘The danger of a single story’ which warns people that if we only listen to a single story about a culture or about a person, we are likely to have a very limited understanding. Her 2012 TED talk ‘We should all be feminists’, helped to renew a worldwide conversation about what feminism means in this day and age.