Despite the gender inequality that still prevails against women, there are no barriers that can stop women from fighting for change!
It will take a shocking 99.5 years to reach gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Report. However, we are not waiting for that day to come for Women to speak up and take action for social justice.
Let’s take a look at just 4 women who inspire us everyday, how they are going above and beyond to fight for what they believe in, despite the legal and social confinements that they face.
Known as an actress, activist and former model, Jane Fonda, is currently focusing on her role as a climate activist, organising ‘Fire Drill Friday,’ a vocal protest movement pushing for immediate action on climate change.
Fonda’s commitment to climate justice inspired her shift onto focusing on the damage that the fashion industry causes, as it stands as the second most polluting industry in the world. She is defying the term ‘all talk and no action,’ as she pledges to ‘not buy any more clothes,’ because of the detrimental effects the fashion industry is having on the environment.
She identifies how much consumerism is damaging the planet when she says:
"We don’t really need to keep shopping. We shouldn’t look to shopping for our identity. We don’t need more stuff.”
At Know The Origin we love everything Fonda stands for and her commitment to not settling for the norm, the consumerist habits of buying more and more because she realises the damage that the fashion industry is having on the planet.
Founder of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity, Kalpona Akter is an advocate for fair wages, health and safety for workers, and labour unions.
Despite the amazing work she is doing to push Western fashion brands to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord, she was also heavily targeted by the Bangladeshi Government and factory owners, doing everything they could to stop her. Yet, as a former child garment worker and now activist, she would not be silenced or stopped.
‘The value of the workers lives or of anyone else in Bangladesh or in the world cannot be 100,000 taka’
(The equivalent of £1000, that the Bangladeshi government is offering as compensation to families of victims in the Rana Plaza collapse, 2013).
Our Founder, Charlotte Instone, had the privilege of meeting Kalpona and hearing about the stories and struggles of standing up against Bangladeshi Authorities and speaking out about how textile workers should be treated.
17 year old Climate activist and indigenous immigrant, Xiye Bastida Patrick, is letting her voice heard amongst peers, including Greta Thunberg.
There is a lack of representation of indigenous activists who are at the forefront of climate justice by the media. Bastida is changing this, and fighting against racial prejudice to make her voice heard. Affected personally by the effects of climate change, she is passionate to not wait until it is too late. Everyone is already being affected by it now. Xiye, notably, always says climate crisis, rather than change, to reflect the urgency of the matter.
“We don’t want people to suffer from the climate crisis to realize we are in a crisis”
We love how age is not a limit to the impact you can make in the world. They are willing to fight for their future, because the older generations are failing them. We are so inspired!
Saudi women’s rights activist, and political prisoner, Loujain al-Hathloul is experiencing the brutality of Saudi Government imprisonment and torture. As a key player in the Women to drive movement, she is seen as a hero to the outside world, but a threat to Saudi Arabia laws and culture.
Despite the ban on saudi women driving being lifted in 2018, the activists who helped make it happen, are still being punished. According to her family, government officials have agreed to release her if she denies that she was tortured. Al-Hathloul refused, and is still suffering from ongoing torture, despite the fact she is a modern-day hero!
“They have to realize that the justice will be made one day,” Lina al-Hathloul, sister of Loujain said. “But people have to speak about it and not remain silent.”
We have huge admiration for the fight Loujain has in her, and huge sadness for the injustice that she is facing. She does not deserve to be in prison, yet she has an amazing hope and strength to not stand down.
Highlighting only four amazing world-changers was so tough because there are many more women fighting for justice. These women fuel our everyday and spur us to continue pushing for social and environmental justice through our purchases. I hope you are as inspired as we are when reading these incredible, heartbreaking and hopeful stories. Let’s stand with them in whatever way we can.