For International Women’s Day, we take a look at some of the brilliant women we’ve previously featured who have all continued to better their communities through their passions.
Diala Brisly, a Syrian artist who did painting workshops for children refugees in Lebanon.
“When I work with kids, I tell them the truth like life is hard; it’s not butterflies and flowers all the time, but you have to be stronger and know how to protect yourself. For us, we can’t really help much to get them out of the camp or get them out of this life or stop them from working this hard job but at least we can encourage them that they can change something by themselves.”
Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, founders of Food Cloud, a software that connects retailers who have surplus food with local charities in the UK and Ireland.
“Our aim is to make donating surplus food as simple as possible for food businesses so that every business with surplus food can feed people and not bins. Our platform allows ‘smart donations’, donations enabled by technology and supported by people – technology with a human heart!”
Ruvimbo, the child bride who got Zimbabwe to say no to child marriage.
“My experience was painful. I was made to sleep outside when I was pregnant. I was not used to eating one meal a day but this became the norm. I used to be beaten up, until I realised that this abuse should not happen to me or to another girl child. This motivated me to take the issue of child marriage to court.”
Gabriela Galilea, founder of Okimo, a desktop software that helps detect early signs of eye defects in children.
“I put out a landing page with the promise of a treatment that you could do with a sensor so you could get feedback and be monitored from a distance. Within hours, I had a lot of signups. The stories they told me were so touching. People took time to write very long e-mails explaining their problem and people who wanted to buy it straight away.”
Jessica Gallagher, a multi-skilled Paralympic athlete and the first Australian to have won medals in both Summer and Winter games.
“When I first started learning how to ski, there was no way I ever imagined I’d ski as fast as I do now. But each day you do the best you can and you work towards little goals, and all of a sudden all those little goals turn into big achievements. The next thing you know is that you’re skiing much faster than you ever thought you would.”
Diksha Dwivedi, co-founder of AkkarBakkar, a platform in India that has empowered ordinary people to share their personal stories.
“Success for me is not me getting rich. AkkarBakkar was for me like my first baby and I did not give up on it. Which parent gives up on their child just because that child refuses to study or pick up a job?”
Brodie Lancaster, Australian writer and founder of Filmme Fatales, a zine about feminism and cinema.
“I remember the day when Filmme Fatales Issue 1 launched, I went to a big magazine store here in Melbourne and I went to their film section. The cover of every single magazine had Thor or some other kind of blockbuster male action star except for one local film industry publication that had Rebel Wilson. I said, ‘this is the reason that this needs to exist.’”
Kit Singson, owner of a coffee shop that practices fair trade and support small-scale industries in the Philippines.
“It’s a bit commonplace now, giving the “artisanal” title less sheen than it deserves, but I believed I had a side-mission to accomplish (the main mission is to bring excellent and underrated local coffee to the contemporary discerning market)—it was to build communities within the café and outside of it. Build a community with our farmers, employ fair trade and support small-scale industries in the country.”
Stephanie Gawne, a burlesque performer who has increased women’s self-worth through her classes.
“The self-worth that women get from it; it’s immeasurable. I hear that not just from the ladies who are in my class but from their partners, from their husbands, from people who’ve come up to me and said thank you so much for doing this for my girlfriend or for my wife.”