#IWD2019 // The Women Currently Inspiring Me

Who run the world?

What better way to celebrate International Women's Day than by celebrating the women who have inspired me this year. Of course, there are many, many women who inspire me - relatives, friends, colleagues, and countless women throughout history. But I thought I'd stick with the women who are currently inspiring me for today's post. These women are speaking up, unapologetically fighting the patriarchy, and changing the world - get to know them.

Hannah Gadsby

I have to admit that Hannah is a recent discovery for me. Last month a friend told me I should watch her special, Nanette, immediately on Netflix because I'd love it. And she was right, I LOVED it! I felt every single emotion, all at the same time. Her honesty, her ability to work a room and her determination to be heard inspired me. I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it yet so all I'll say is: go and watch it - now. It's a stand-up with a twist and it's so powerful and so relevant; it's a must watch for both women and men. I'm so grateful to now be aware of this woman and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her book, Ten Steps to Nanette.

Stacey Dooley 

A fan of her documentary style, I couldn't wait to read her new book, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back. It was an extraordinary read and I can't recommend it enough. You really hear Stacey's voice coming through, like a good friend just chatting to you over coffee, which makes the tough stories a little easier to hear. Last month I went to a talk Stacey gave about the book - which is a collection of stories about some of the women she's met across the world while making documentaries - and she is so clearly inspired by these women and passionate about making their voices heard. These women are failed in every way, and still they keep on - they are as much an inspiration. Stacey's documentary Fashion's Dirty Secrets also completely changed the way I consume fashion. I really can't wait to see what she does next.

Reni Eddo-Lodge 

Last year I read Reni's book, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race, and it changed me. I can't describe it, but sometimes I read a book that sucker-punches me and wakes me up and makes me suddenly aware that I'm not doing enough. This was one of those books. After reading the history chapter I've made it my mission to seek out the black British history that is so often left out. After reading Reni's thoughts on white privilege, I've made it my mission to try to be aware of mine, and to challenge stereotypes and racist comments masked as 'just a joke'. I also really enjoy Reni's writing style. I've heard her speak several times and every time I do, I feel a resurgence of inspiration to write. 

Amika George

Amika is the 19-year-old who founded the Free Periods movement. If you didn't know, period poverty is a massive thing in the UK with a large percentage of girls unable to afford menstrual products, and many often missing school as a result. If you want to know more about period poverty, I wrote this post last year. Amika is working hard to ensure that schools and colleges provide free menstrual products so no girl has to miss out on an education. She writes about, gives talks on and actively campaigns to end period poverty. She's truly incredible.

Ellen Page

I caught Ellen on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently where she talked about LGBTQ+ rights, climate change and hateful leadership. She gave a moving speech that created a tension in the room, leaving the audience, and Stephen, in silence. At the end there was an eruption of applause - she said what we're all thinking, and what many wouldn't say. More of this please. 

Greta Thunberg

She may only be 16 but Greta has inspired me so much in recent months. She began skipping school on her own every Friday until Sweden aligns with the Paris Agreement. Her passion for the environment and holding governments accountable, demanding they take action to prevent climate change, inspired young people across the world to join her in striking. I feel so much pride seeing these strikes happening here in Brighton, seeing young people demand their future is protected. Find out more here

Jameela Jamil

A year ago Jameela started the I Weigh movement, encouraging women and girls to share what they weigh - not their actual weight, but what makes them who they are. For example, I weigh a good job, a loving partner, a degree, my travels, I'm a good friend, my passion for equality, my love for animals, and so on. She's also an advocate for body positivity, fiercely campaigning against the use of airbrushing and influencers who promote gimmicky weight loss teas to their followers.

Scarlett Curtis

Scarlett is a feminist activist and recently curated a collection of essays written by women for the book, Feminists Don't Wear Pink (& other lies). She also has a podcast of the same name where she chats to the books' contributors about their experiences with feminism. Scarlett is also one of the founders of The Pink Protest, which runs digital campaigns, including #EndFGM, #GirlsWankToo and, in collaboration with Amika George, #FreePeriods.

Tell me, which women have been inspiring you and why?

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