The last couple of years have been huge for raising awareness of the crushing inequality that women and girls face all around the world.
As the world marks another International Women’s Day on March 8, we wanted to take a moment to think about — now that the issue is very much in the spotlight — what do we do to continue the fight?
Now we know that gender inequality is an issue that affects every one of us, that is holding the whole world back, how do we move from conversation to action to put an end to it?
So we asked some of our favourite feminist activists across the UK for their top tips on how they fight for gender equality every day.
We hope their answers help inspire us all to use the resources available to us to take concrete action — to make gender inequality not just an issue we’re all aware of, but to make gender inequality a thing of the past.
"Put away any preconceptions about what you think you can and can’t do! When you have a real hunger to make lasting change, you will push yourself in new directions with a new force and a new sense of purpose. You will surprise yourself! So don’t limit yourself, and think broader and more ambitiously than you’ve ever done before, and see how far you can go!"
Taban Shoresh is founder of The Lotus Flower, which works to support women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement.
“As a survivor of genocide and an abusive marriage, my personal experiences in life led me to help women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement. I founded a platform, The Lotus Flower, to provide the tools and help build bridges in supporting women rebuild their lives. My way of fighting for gender equality is by ensuring that all our projects have gender equality at the heart of them.”
“Fight inequality by taking it offline. There’s a real power in the mass feminism of Instagram, but it’s important to maintain those standards in conversation, without an audience. Don’t laugh along at that joke to be polite, make them do better. If you’re thinking ‘wow you shouldn’t have said that’, tell them!”
“I encourage women to seriously take care of their mental wellbeing while tackling gender inequality. One big lesson I’ve learnt over the years is that we are no use to anyone if we burn out or have a serious breakdown — which I have experienced a few times over my careers as a therapist and social activist. I’ve now dedicated myself to teaching others about wellbeing. It’s extremely vital.”
“I fight inequality by listening to marginalised people, learning from them, and remembering that fighting for equality is never about only fighting for those who look and sound like me.”
“I encourage women to question the narratives supplied to them by society, and to reject anything that doesn’t align with their pleasure.”
“I encourage women to choose themselves in a world that guilts us into prioritising everyone else. Every woman deserves a happy ending.”
“Women and girls like Christiana Figueres and Greta Thunberg have been an inspiration for everyone, I believe, in the fight against climate change. But in many communities, women don’t have a voice at the decision-making table, and as a result are being hit the hardest by climate change. If women had more rights and freedoms, if they had greater access to education, to finance and technology, they could have a disproportionate impact on climate pollution, for the benefit of everyone.”
"I fight inequality by campaigning to end child marriage and raising awareness of its life-long harm. I encourage women to add their voice by signing my petition to make child marriage a crime in England and Wales."