For International Women’s Day, we are celebrating some of the women who are following their passions and fighting for their dreams.
Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once said: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Every year in March the world embraces that collective effort by celebrating International Women’s Day.
Through shared ownership and collective actions, we can all make a positive difference at a global level and drive gender parity. At INKLINE, we strongly believe in the importance of role models and we are determined to showcase incredibly inspiring women all year round.
We are putting the spotlight today on 10 incredible women go-getters we had the chance to feature on the website. They are a diverse group of women, all pursuing different interests and passions but all share one common attribute: they are ready to make the world a better place.
1. Pooja Pradeep, founder of Letters of Love, sends handwritten letters to Syrian refugee children.
“Children smile when they get a handwritten, colourful piece of note from a new friend. They smile! The idea of Letters of Love was just to spread smiles, it wasn’t anything fancy or monetary.”
2. Devika Sarin turned her passion for art into an online art marketplace, Art of Kindness, providing buyers with the opportunity to help social good organisations across the globe.
“The role of arts in society is extremely important in the wellbeing of humanity and promotion of creativity and innovation. Art has the ability to transcend boundaries and encourage us to think and engage with issues and emotions regardless of the time or socio-economic climate. Therefore the ‘good’ and social value inherent in art can be utilised to promote the good in other areas, telling a beautiful narrative at the same time.”
3. Victoria Alonsoperez is working towards improving the safety of livestock herds across the globe by developing smart devices through her startup Chipsafer.
“The thing is right now people don’t really know where the beef they are eating came from. With Chipsafer we can prove that the animals didn’t make a negative impact on the environment because, for example, they were not raised in the Amazon rainforest.”
4. Maggie Doyne, founder of BlinkNow, has changed the future of about 500 children in just a decade.
“Our organisation has brought many positive changes to Surkhet. The school is providing an education to some of the disadvantaged children in the region – many of them are the first in their families to attend school. At school, they receive a hot meal and a snack and for some, that’s the only meal they will receive all day. Additionally, the school is employing many locals in the Surkhet area – boosting the economy.”
5. Safaath Ahmed Zahir founded Women & Democracy in 2016 with a vision to challenge the unequal representation seen in socio-economic and political spaces in Maldives.
“After being a social activist and having served for other NGOs, I wanted to create a platform that solely highlights the issue of under-representation of women in leadership. Women & Democracy came into existence with that vision, to advocate for women’s leadership. As a democrat, I truly believe that women’s full participation in the political sphere of our young democratic nation is a prerequisite to make our country a first world nation.”
6. Susanna Manziaris decided to take on the issue of female gendercide head-on by helping girls across the world improve their conditions through education.
“GirlsHelpingGirls tackles gendercide through our ‘Three Prong Approach to Education’ which includes building schools, training teachers, and creating scholarships. We began building schools in order to provide our students with a safe, and sanitary learning environment.”
7. Meymuna Hussein-Cattan believes in the power of community and inclusivity and founded Tiyya Foundation, a nonprofit enabling refugees, immigrants, and displaced American families to actively participate in their new community.
“We’re the bridge builders. We help connect the local community to the newcomer. We connect newcomers to existing institutions much larger than Tiyya. We give those who want to give back and volunteer a hands-on experience. What’s most important to me is that we treat our volunteers and refugees or immigrant families like equals.”
8. Drisana Levitzke-Gray, the fifth generation in her family to be born Deaf, is dedicated to helping other Deaf people and advocating for their human rights.
“In many ways, I see improvements for the Deaf community such as the National Auslan Curriculum for LOTE which brings positive spotlight and attention to our language, culture and community. Deaf people out there continue to succeed, to further their education, to gain momentous roles in our society such as Alastair McEwin who is the Disability Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission.”
9. Marta Krajnik, determined to offer a fair wage to jewellery makers and to make their work accessible to Kenyans, launched Kipato Unbranded.
“We have a very different model than most other luxury companies. Well, we are not luxury, but in Kenya when you make a certain product that you design and you produce yourself then most companies label themselves as luxury and it means that they can export products for five times their normal price. We don’t do that! That’s why our tagline is ‘jewelry inspired by everyday people, for everyday people’.”
10. Scherezade Siobhan, a therapist and clinical psychologist by profession, provides a platform for girls and women across all cultures to express their experiences in however form they like through the Mira Project.
“One of the things that I strongly believe in is that conversations enable communities and then communities come together and then you get a shared catharsis. So when you feel that you’re isolated in your experience or that you alone have been victimised, it’s much harder to deal with, but when you find comrades, when you find a sense of friendship amongst people, I think it comes a little easier to deal with. I think it also easier to channel your energy and become more action-oriented rather than just think about what happened.”