9 Top Tips From UK Activists on How They Fight for Gender Equality Every Day

Authors: James Hitchings-Hales, Imogen Calderwood and Helen Lock

Why Global Citizens Should Care 
The UN’s Global Goal 5 works to achieve gender equality and empower every woman and girl. Gender bias is a scourge that’s holding the whole world back — it’s not just a human rights issue, it’s a massive waste of the world’s human potential. Join the movement by taking action here to help make gender equality a reality, and drive forward the mission to end extreme poverty. 

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. 

1. Amika George — Activist tackling period poverty

Image: Amika George

"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!"

2. Taban Shoresh — Aid worker and women’s rights activist

Taban Shoresh is founder of The Lotus Flower, which works to support women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement.Taban Shoresh is founder of The Lotus Flower, which works to support women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement.
Image: Alice Aedy

“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.” 

3. Gemma Styles — Writer and activist 

Gemma Styles, writer and activist.Image: With permission.

“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!” 

4. Dr. Leyla Hussein OBE — Psychotherapist and anti-FGM activist

Dr. Leyla Hussein, anti-FGM activist.Image: Naji Visuals

“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.” 

5. Gina Martin — Writer and activist who got upskirting officially made illegal in the UK

Gina Martin, an activist who got upskirting made illegal in the UK.Image: Alex Cameron

“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.” 

6. Florence Given — Feminist queer illustrator and social activist

Florence Given, activist and illustrator.Image: Diving Bell Group

“I encourage women to question the narratives supplied to them by society, and to reject anything that doesn’t align with their pleasure.” 

7. Chidera Eggerue a.k.a. The Slumflower — Author and activist

Chidera Eggerue, author and activist.Image: Rachel Sherlock Photography

“I encourage women to choose themselves in a world that guilts us into prioritising everyone else. Every woman deserves a happy ending.” 

8. Arizona Muse — Fashion model and environmental activist

Arizona Muse, model and environmental activist.Image: With permission.

“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.” 

9. Payzee Mahmod — Anti-child marriage activist

Payzee Mahmod, an activist who campaigns against child marriage in the UK.Image: James Wen

"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."