Who Run The World?
Happy International Women’s Day, Sassy Girls! Today we’re celebrating women and our successes, but also reflecting on progress that needs to be made. The past year has seen the rise of feminism in mainstream discourse, and even-though awareness about gender parity and equality is increasing, there are still many areas in the world that have a long way to go. This year’s theme for Women’s Day is to #pledgeforparity and you can pledge here to show your support for full gender equality.
Here at Sassy we’re making our pledges as well as reflecting on the women that we admire. We’ve chosen women from different backgrounds and industries that inspire and motivate us. Read on to find out who we admire most and let us know who inspires you! Let’s hear it for the girls…
Lexi, Editorial Assistant: The Black Mambas
There are countless women who deserve praise and recognition this International Women’s Day, heaps of awesome females who’re speaking out, kicking ass and empowering both young and old all over the world. To choose just one seems a kind of injustice – but if I start to list all of the women I admire you’ll be scrolling for the next few hours. So I’ve decided to give a huge shout out, to not one, but a group of amazing females – The Black Mambas. An anti-poaching patrol unit, these women are taking the Savanna by storm, protecting endangered animals and single-handedly tackling the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Made up of graduates from the local community, The Black Mambas are as poisonous to poachers as their name suggests and since they began, they haven’t lost a single rhino on their reserve. “How can you work in the bush when you are a lady?’ But I can do anything I want.” – Hear! Hear!
Tania, Editorial Assistant: Faridé Shroff
It’s always been easy for me to pinpoint a role model because of the wonder-woman who raised me, Faridé Shroff. My mum is someone I admire for all the clichéd reasons (you know, food, shelter, education, life… the basics), but I’m also thankful to her for showing me the meaning of a selfless life. Since she was a teenager (yup, you read that right!), she’s devoted her time to providing support for people with different abilities. It seems no matter where we go, grateful individuals remind me of the difference she has made to their life. Sometimes it feels like she’s a mother figure for half of Hong Kong, yet somehow, she always seems to find the time and energy to give. Three years ago, she founded SENsational Consultancy, working to raise awareness and promote a positive change in our (often inaccessible) concrete city. It’s been so rewarding to watch how the work she does is helping create a more inclusive community in Hong Kong. From working tirelessly, to sacrificing the last piece of cake, selfless is definitely a word I would use to describe her.
Lauren, Senior Editor: Malala Yousafzai
There are so many incredible women who I admire and drive me to be a better person. I’m surrounded by brilliant, hard working colleagues and successful female entrepreneurs (just look at all our That Girls!), caring and thoughtful friends and of course, strong, creative and loving family members – shout out to Mama Yee. But I’m still in awe of the one girl who has overcome tremendous hardship to advocate for the fundamental right of education. After being attacked and seriously injured by the Taliban for speaking out about this cause, Malala Yousafzai has continued to be an activist for women’s and education rights. She is the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and her foundation, The Malala Fund, supports girls’ education projects around the world. If you want to find out more about Malala’s incredible story and the work that she is doing, make sure you read her memoir “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban” and look out for the documentary “He Called Me Malala“. She is a truly an inspiration.
Melissa, Editorial Intern: Lena Dunham
The brains behind Girls, I love what Dunham has brought to the table in this HBO series that she has created and starred in; real, stripped and raw, this show really taps into the world of four unique, individual young women trying to figure themselves out and make their mark in NYC. I’m also a huge fan of Dunham’s podcast series ‘Women of the Hour‘, where her conversations with a range of influential women delve into everything from work and friendship, to body image and love and loss; each episode really makes you pause and reflect on your own life experiences and what you can treasure or learn from them.
Kat, Sassy Mama Editor: Jackie Pullinger
A few years ago, I read a book called “Chasing the Dragon” by Jackie Pullinger and was immediately inspired by her compassion and courage. Born in London, Jackie came to Hong Kong in 1966 to work as a teacher in the infamous Kowloon Walled City, which was not policed during that time and was rampant with opium dens run by triads. She began a youth club to help people with drug addictions as well as street walkers to find a better life. In the 80s she founded the St. Stephen’s Society, which provides rehabilitation and homes for recovering drug addicts. She is still heavily involved in St. Stephen’s today and she’s helped many young people in Hong Kong.
Shaneli, Digital Editor: Ellen DeGeneres
This woman hasn’t stopped dancing since she entered the public realm as a comedienne years ago. She’s dedicated most of her life to putting love, light and kindness out there in the universe, no easy feat considering everything else that goes on in the world. And she does so with this poignant blend of humour and sass. I mean, check out her acceptance speech at the People’s Choice Awards earlier this year. How can anyone not be inspired by this woman?
Jess, Partnerships Executive: Jackie Scotland
As cliché as it may sound, the woman that I admire most is my mom! Growing up, I think it’s easy to take for granted all that moms do on a day to day basis. Looking back now, I really am amazed how she juggled it all and always had a smile on her face (for the most part)! My mom truly is my biggest supporter and for that, she deserves a big shout out on International Women’s Day!
Go out, be great and do great this International Women’s Day and every day, Sassy Girls!