Happy International Women's Day!
This year’s theme is 'Choose To Challenge' because from challenge comes change.
So let’s challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, and continue to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Together, we can help create an inclusive world (just like all the women in this week's newsletter are doing).
Let's get glowing!
Women Fighting The Good Fight Against COVID-19
Women Are At The Heart Of The Global COVID-19 Response
UN Women Australia recently highlighted some of the women at the front line of the global COVID-19 response. The women who are not only are leading us toward a safer world, but are also inspiring the next generation of girls to be forces of good in science and tech.
Healthcare workers, innovators and researchers are all at the heart of the response.
Like Özlem Türeci, scientist, physician and co-founder of the biotechnology company BioNTech. In 2020, her company developed the first approved
RNA-based vaccine against COVID-19.
And Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who is one of the leading scientists behind the US Government’s vaccine research. Being seen as a leader in the response to COVID-19 is important to Corbett. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted black communities within the US, and black women in science have often been left out of history books.
Women of all ages are taking part in the fight against COVID-19.
Like 14-year-old Anika Chebrolu. She won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2020 for her project which identified a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and potentially inhibit the novel corona virus. Kids these days, they can do anything!
You Need To Try…
Glowreel's Weekly Inspo
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- Women are taking the lead in the world's largest ongoing protest.TIME Magazine has covered the critical role that women, the backbone of India's agriculture sector, are playing in the ongoing protest against India's farming laws. “Something snapped within us when we heard the government tell the women to go back home." The must read article also covers how the protests are providing opportunity for women's rights activists to address the gender imbalance in Indian society.
- Melissa Browning has been recognised for her Courageous Conversations About Race (CCAR) program. The proud Bundjalung and Kullilli Aboriginal woman aims to create a safe space to talk about racism through the CCAR program. It aims to give people the tools beyond the classroom to have tough conversations and move differently in the world.
- Jacinta Migo is the first American Samoan woman to be promoted to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant in the US Air Force. Her key to success and advice to other in the US Air Force is to be “persistent, be resilient, and to have humility.”
- NASA has named its headquarters building after its first Black female engineer - Mary W. Jackson. Jackson began working for NASA in 1951 and became and engineer in 1958 (she was portrayed by Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures). She was also posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal two years ago.
- Let's support women of colour authors and filmakers! Penguin Books released its list of book recommendations for International Women's Day 2021. Some of our favourites on the list include Becoming by Michelle Obama and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. lifehacker also released its list of 15 Films You Need to Watch, Directed by Women of Colour. The list features some epic films including One Night In Miami and Nomadland.
- Speaking of Nomadland, Chloé Zhao made history at the Golden Globes last week! She became the first Asian woman, and the second woman ever, to win a Golden Globe for Best Director for Nomadland.Meanwhile, Andra Day won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a motion picture drama, for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day is the second Black woman ever to win this award. Here's hoping the Golden Globes can improve in the representation department from here on out...
- Still on that film train, Kiwi Actress Rena Owen opens up about playing Dame Whina Cooper in the upcoming biopic Whina. She highlights that playing the New Zealand legend (who we covered in this Glowreel newsletter) is the role of a lifetime, but has also been one of the most challenging roles of her 35 year career. You can read the full interview here.
Embracing Waves And Curves
Stephanie Mahuk Breaking Barriers In The Surfing World
The Vanuatu based lawyer is the co-founder of Solwota Sista - a program that teaches young women and girls in Vanuatu to surf.
"It's a male dominated sport to be surfing and it's something that the boys and the men do more freely than the women." Mahuk is helping break cultural norms by getting young women and girls out of the house and into the water - helping them to realise that they can "conquer the world."
The Solwota Sista program also teaches participants about self-defence, sexual health and literacy, in an effort to address high rates of sexual violence and teenage pregnancies in the country.
A Reminder From Callie De Wind: You're Amazing, Just The Way You Are
The Kuala Lumpur based model is pushing for more body diversity and inclusivity in the modelling industry.
She uses her platform to encourage people to embrace their body shape and size and to help young girls who are struggling with their bodies
Her pro tip for being comfortable in your body it to stop worrying what other people think and to remember that only you have the power to control your happiness in life.
The Native American Activist You Need To Know About
Zitkála-Šá (Red Bird) was one of the first and most important Native American reformers of the early twentieth century.
Born on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in 1876, she learned traditional Sioux ways from her mother. But was forced to give up her moccasins, her long hair, her language, and to renounce her heritage at boarding school. "Then I lost my spirit.”
As an adult, Zitkála-Šá devoted her life to fighting for justice for Native Americans
She played an instrumental role in the passage of the Indian Citizenship Bill in 1924.
In 1926, she founded the National Council of American Indians. In her role as Council President, she advocated for citizenship rights, better educational opportunities, improved health care, and cultural recognition and preservation.
She also wrote several works chronicling her struggles with cultural identity and the pull between the culture she was educated in and the Sioux culture which she was born and raised in.
"No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”
– Malala Yousafzai