5 Women Who Are Nailing It!
As Theresa May takes on the role of Britain’s next Prime Minister we take a moment to throw a virtual high-five to women elsewhere who are absolutely smashing it! May, may you be as inspiring as these women.
Being Aymaran and female does not make for a smooth ride through life. Indigenous communities in Bolivia are some of the most marginalised on earth, but Bianca is working on that. When she learned of her rights as a woman - that she didn’t have to follow traditional expectations - she worked on becoming a leader in her community. She’s faced chat like, ‘You don’t have the power to take charge. You’re a woman’ as well as Bolivian legislative challenges that fail to protect women in political roles (many women experience violence and harassment). But it’s just fuelled the fire for Bianca. She’s now a leader of a farmer’s union and on the advisory board in her province.
Huin (pronounced Ilo) is the first female chief of her village in Ethiopia. ‘I am the chief here. They say I am a strong woman… This is the first time a woman has been the leader of this community - I am taking on lots of responsibility. Everything is changing and now I have a platform to talk and express my views. The community tell me I am the one who must accept the guests and the government. Now I’m the chief in this area women get respected. Women are no longer less than men.’
Forced to leave home at 11 and out on the streets from a young age, Karla has faced violence, abuse and evaded death more than once. Even today, she still receives death threats. You see, Karla is a trans-gendered woman in El Salvador - one of the most marginalised and persecuted groups in the country. Many of her friends have been assassinated as a result of their identity, but that hasn’t silenced Karla – she continues to champion the rights and inclusion of El Salvador’s LGBTI community.
Janeh runs various music, drawing, football and alternative violence workshops with Syrian refugee children in Iraq. The amazing thing is that Janeh is herself a Syrian refugee. After bombs started falling on Damascus after her first year at university, Janeh fled to Iraq in order to pursue her education in a safer environment. Away from her family this wasn’t an easy decision but she still had it in her to support others who were suffering from the conflict in her beloved home.
Melati, along with her sister Bella, was horrified by the amount of plastic bags on the beaches in her home country of Bali. So they got radical. Inspired by Gandhi the sisters went on a hunger strike until their governor agreed to meet with them. That meeting resulted in Bali agreeing to be a plastic bag free island by 2018. She's got big hopes for us too, 'I hope that this generation really will come together and work together - if we make one force and work together as leaders then the world will become a better place.'