I've been reading lots of different articles and comment pieces online over the last couple of days, debating how 2014 has been for women- from Emma Watson's UN address to that 'break the internet' magazine cover, it seems that this year has been pretty polarised in terms of women's issues, and the reporting of them in mainstream media. Even some of the more inspirational, female focused news stories of the year have been tarnished by perpetual threats from those most loathsome of under-bridge dwellers- the internet trolls. So, when Atterley Road got in touch with me a little while ago to introduce their #ARWOMAN campaign, I was really excited to get involved. The campaign is aimed at getting people to celebrate the women who inspire them on a day to day basis- and needless to say my shortlist was pretty tricky to whittle down. My mum is a total inspiration- and never ceases to amaze me with her humour, strength and complete selflessness. Jessica Ennis is my fitness inspiration- and, as we've seen this year, fearlessly stands up for what she believes in. Laura Bates and Lucy Anne Holmes, who are campaigning to change the way in which the media and society perceive women, as well as providing incredible platforms for continued engagement and activism are definitely worthy of the title. Having thought long and hard about my choice, however, it seems fitting that, for me, one of 2014's biggest inspirations is Malala Yousafzai:
Malala has been a stalwart in the campaign for girls education, and last summer, I was lucky enough to take part in a Plan UK event centered around her landmark address to the UN. To see someone speak so courageously and passionately about an issue which is not only so personal to them, but which is also a cause for global action was a real inspiration. Being fortunate enough to live where I do, I thought nothing of the luxury of being able to go to school, college and university when I was growing up- but for 62 million girls all over the world, access to education is denied. Malala, joint winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize, is a tireless advocate for education, and believes that with shared commitment, action and campaigning the lives of girls all over the world can be improved by access to teaching. She is a real inspiration and a definite hero of mine.
Who is your #ARWOMAN?
(Image credit: Author Stream. Video credit: Plan UK.)