Happy international women's day to all you badass women out there!
I created my brand to make women feel empowered and uplifted when wearing my jewels- to make you feel as though you can conquer anything, and that's the message that's really shining through for me today.
This IWD, I wanted to shine a light on some incredible women through-out history, and in the present day that have been an inspiration to me, and have paved the way for all of us to have rights, to speak out, to be bold, audacious and speak our truth.
Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (MIA) , is not only a rapper, singer, producer but also an activist. She is such an inspiring creative that uses her passions and music to bring attention to various social issues, such as the oppression of Sri Lankan Tamils and the Civil war. Her music speaks to me in so many ways, and I'm am continually in awe of how she uses her craft and platform to raise awareness about key social & political issues. If haven't watched her documentary yet, would highly recommend it.
Actress, radio presenter, model, writer and activist, also the womxn behind the platform called I-Weigh, inspired by a picture that she came across online of the Kardashian and Jenner sister, detailing each woman's weight. She considers I-Weigh, to value a women not just based on her weight but as "a movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look past the flesh on our bones" She uses her various social media platforms to create petitions, such as "Stop celebrities promoting toxic diet products on social media". She has created community to contribute towards womxn embracing who they are and seeing beyond appearance. I love how bold she in is, in the how she presents her views, and isn't afraid of the backlash she receives, but she's it as a learning curve to better herself.
Neelam, famous fashion model, that has contributed towards changing the fashion industry and bringing more representation to the South Asian community. She is the first Indian model featured in a Burberry campaign, and continually advocates for social issues close to her heart, As a social media influencer she continually uses her platform to raise awareness for the farmer's protest india, with an article that she also wrote for Stylist magazine shedding a light on the protests.
Sophia Duleep Singh
A prominent suffragette and princess in the United Kingdom. Her father was Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, who had been taken from his kingdom of Punjab to the British Raj, and was subsequently exiled to England. She valued her Indian heritage, but was not bound by allegiance to a single nation and supported the womxn's cause in a number of countries. She also contributed toward ensuring royal consent was given to the Equal Franchise Act enabling womxn over age 21 to vote on a par with men in 1928 - something which contributed to allowing all people, no matter what gender, to be entitled to vote from the age of 18.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Known as RBG, (who sadly passed away in September 2020) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death. Ginsburg spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women's rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. However, it wasn't just this issue she was fighting for; she also discussed her views on abortion, consistently supported abortion rights and gender equality in a 2009 New York Times interview, in which she said, "the basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman". She is the ultimate trailblazer for womxn, that used her life and career to advocate for womxn's rights.
Nodeep Kaur Nodeep Kaur is a young 25-year-old Dalit woman from Punjab who has been a central figure in the ongoing Farmer's protests in India. Coming from a poor Dalit family much prominence has been placed on this, in the manner she has been treated by the justice system. Nodeep started working at a factory to support her family, whistling joining the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, which works for the workers’ rights in the Kundli Industrial Area. Arrested because of protesting for farmers rights, she was wrongly accused of various battery of charges - murder, extortion, theft, rioting, unlawful assembly, extortion and criminal intimidation, which has led to awful mistreatment of custodial torture and sexual assault by the police. Although she has now been granted bail, her legacy will be as a low caste young women, who stood up for farmers rights and exposed the mis-treatment of of Dalit women in India.
Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and a social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. This event strongly influenced and later contributed towards positive future developments in the civil rights movement in the United States. The campaign lasted from December 5, 1955—the Monday after Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested for her refusal to surrender her seat to a white person—to December 20, 1956. When Parks chose not to give up her seat for a white man it wasn't because she was physically tired, she was just tired of giving in and no fighting against the mistreatment of African Americans. After suffering for loss of loved ones in the seventies, she continued to fight for civil rights and created educational organisations such as the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, an institute that runs the "Pathways to Freedom" bus tours which introduce young people to important civil rights and Underground Railroad sites throughout the country. Despite all the personal and difficult struggles she faced throughout her life, she continued to fight for justice through and through until the end.
A Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Pakistani Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. However, as Malala became more and more recognised, the dangers facing her increased - in 2012 when she was just 15, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan's Swat Valley. She bravely identified herself as Malala, when the masked gunman shouted: "Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all.", to try and prevent harm coming to the otherswith her. Since then, she co-founded the Malala fund with her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, to champion every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education; which has meant she changed so many young womxns' lives across the world.
An advocates for body positivity whilst contributing toward changing Eurocentric beauty standards and beliefs. Harnaam has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and she spent a lot of her time trying to find all sorts of way to remove body hair to avoid taunts and bullying from her peers, which sadly drove her to self-harm. So at the age of 16, she chose to embrace her body in all its glory. This self-love has led to so many more positive changes in just in her life, but overall. Harnaam choosing to embracing every aspect of who is she so proudly has had a knock-on effect for so many other womxn, especially in the South Asian community (who have grown up believing that body hair is far from beautiful) - her stories and her voice have led to many other womxn embracing who they are, purely because she chose to share her story with the world in the form of education, public speaking, modelling and media.