On March 8th 2021 it was International Women’s Day and a few days later the world heard about the death of Sarah Everard causing women to talk about their safety and the things we subconciously do to protect ourselves at night. And then we listened to Megan Markle’s story and watched a lot of folks deny it and call her an “actor.” When women use their voice, in silence or out loud sometimes it will ruffle people’s feathers. I’d love to encourage you to have the tough conversations in your sphere of influence first, you may never know whose thought patterns you’d need to challenge in those closest to you. Learning to have healthy conversations is tough, you won’t always get it right (many tears and frustration sobs have taught me this) it’s ok to challenge but try to do so in love, hearing the fact that other people’s opinions of yours differ from others is ok, you once didn’t hold the opinion you have now years ago. It’s a learning process and other’s are learning at different paces than you are – and that’s ok. The idea is that we’re all learning, there is no shame in that.
The IWD 2021 theme this year was all about challenge.
“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.”
I choose to challenge the notion that pits men against women and creates a culture of shame. Equality is equal rights, equal opportunities for all. Let’s get educated. Men hear our stories, women let’s spur each other on. We’ve all got work to do and the process of taking down barriers and eradicating biases starts with you and I.
In this blog I really wanted to share resources and reading material that really highlight the women that have paved the way for the opportunities you and I have. I’ve also involved my favourite female worldchangers/podcasters/influencers/films and more because these are the women that God is using to transform me, personally.
I just wanted to clarify that International Women’s Day is not a day to bash men. Men are great – we love men! In fact, men and women working alongside each other are imperative to establishing the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus involved many women during his ministry here on earth and still, he is equipping and calling women everywhere to collaborate with Him in letting people know Him as their Saviour King.
Women throughout history
Women in the Bible were seen as second class citizens and within the last 100 years, women have come so far, especially when it comes to the workplace. The treatment of women throughout history is not that one. Establishing yourself as a woman in your own right was hard. If it were not the lack of job opportunities or harsh treatment from society it was the idea that marriage, for a long time, was your only way out of poverty. If you’re a woman living in this day and age, we have it a lot easier than that of our predecessors – but that doesn’t mean the work is finished now.
In the 1920s women entered the workplace as a result of the Industrial Revolution and as the men set off to war women were involved in contributing to the war effort. We started taking up job roles previously given to men alone and women throughout the years and generations before us have fought for the rights we have today and that journey still carries on.
Without further ado here’s my (ever-growing) list of resources that I’d love to share with you, if you have more, leave a comment below – I’m excited to check it out!
Women of faith
For me, women preachers have taught me so much of what my faith as a woman can look like. It is laced in the God-breathed words they speak and their beautifully honest and raw testimonies as examples. Please check them out and read their books, listen to their podcasts, these gals be dripping with Jesus wisdom.
There’s no way I could write a blog post celebrating women without mentioning the women we have in the Bible, here:
and more I may have missed. Jesus loved women, constantly went out of His way to teach them and spend time with them. Women from all walks of life and professions appear in His lineage. He was counter-cultural in the way he involved them in His ministry on earth. Mary was the first person He told of His resurrection, He entrusted her with telling His disciples that He had risen. Who’s your favourite woman in the Bible?
Here are even more influencers and podcasters that talk all about faith + lifestyle
- Jeanine Amapola
- Jordan Lee Dooley
- Stephanie May Wilson
- Arielle Estoria
- Morgan Harper Nichols
- Rebel Hearts Rebel Girls
- Cambria Joy
- Anna Hodges
- Jess Connolly
- Kait Warman
- Meredith Foster
- Sadie Robertson
Here’s to the women
To the female entrepeneurs of the 21st century, your example shows little girls starting to dream of their futures, a chance to dream the same dreams you did. Your representation gives us hope. To the women whose stories we are able to learn from, take notes from and continue telling.
To the female leaders in power that stand up and speak for the voiceless, the underrepresented, the marginalised and evoke change in their actions, sure, they might not get it 100% perfect, but who does. Failures can be beautiful stepping stones.
To the women in STEM doing magical things in this sector – we are rooting for you! Yes, it was man who landed on the moon but let’s not forget the women that got them there. Cue Margaret Hamilton, stage right, thi amazing woman coded the software that made sure the mission was complete.
She told ITpro that:
“To make real change much more needs to be done. When the most powerful and influential leaders and organisations in the world make it possible for women to hold the highest positions (not “almost” the highest) in their organisations, equal (not “almost” equal) to what is available to men, we all benefit; including the leaders and organisations themselves.”Margaret Hamilton
Here’s a truly beautiful graphic of women in STEM makes me truly grateful that women in this generation have such amazing opportunities to change the world:
Women empowerment in film
Films motivate me. They inspire me, as if the writers and producers reach deep into my soul and gave my heart strings a yank. Here are a few that I absolutely adored.
- The Intern
- Hidden Figures
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Little Women
- Made in Dagenham
- Charlie’s Angels
- Wonder Woman
- Pride and Prejudice
I am such a sucker for following celebrity culture, I know, I know but you can’t knock all of the ladies that are absolutely killing it and using their voice and their influence to raise awareness of issues of injustice.
- Jameela Jamil, actress, activist, TV presenter
- Kamala Harris, Madam Vice President
- Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, former First Lady of the United States
Emma Watson, actress and activist
“The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”Emma Watson
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US politician, congresswoman, activist
Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Malala Yousafzai, female education activist, student, Nobel Prize winner
“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”Malala Yousafzai
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, supreme court judge
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Oprah Winfrey, actress, presenter, media mogul
- Melinda Gates, entrepreneur, philanthropist, businessperson, writer
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”Sheryl Sandberg
Janelle Monae, american singer-songwriter, rapper, actress, and record producer
“Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. … It was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus. Don’t you ever forget it.”Janelle Monae
We can’t forget about the powerful women that making power makes during the civil rights movement. Here are 27 black women activists everyone should know about. There’s also the unsung heroes of this movement too right here.
Speaking of unsung heroes here are here are even more women history “forgot” about written by a new generation of writers here.
Whenever it comes to voting and I’m hesitant of delving deep into the politics-sphere (not a word lol) the thought that goes through my mind is “women DIED for the vote.” A painful truth that I have to constantly remind myself of. To not vote is to not have the ability to speak and have a say in the society you’re living in, the society you’ll be bringing your children up in. It’s base-level simplicity of contributing to make change in society. The least we can do and these are some awesome women we can thank for the vote that we get to freely do today.
There will be so many more that I haven’t mentioned in this blog post, so many untold stories and unsung heroes of everyday women that are changing the world. I think about my close friends that spur me on, encourage me, tell me about my identity in Jesus when I forget and those women who are there for me when I need them. I think about my mum and the challenges she faced raising me in a country she wasn’t all that familiar with. I think about the people in my workplace who decided to give this little brown girl a chance in the working world. I think of the amazing church leaders and mentors I have who’ve let me into their world, into their homes to hang out with their families and who have also challenged and inspired me on my life journey. Everyday women are just as much game-changers as those of worldwide renown and I pray that you let them know that today!