Our bloggers and organizations work every day to create a better, more equal world. On International Women’s Day 2017 we are celebrating their commitment to standing up and speaking out by asking them to share what motivates and emboldens them – we hope their answers inspire you to be bold for change too!
For an extra dose of inspiration, let Girls’ Globe’s #BeBoldForChange playlist be the soundtrack to your day!
Tell us about a time in your life when you’ve been particularly bold?
Amanda: “I feel bold every time I stand up for my self and others, especially women. It makes me feel important and I feel like I am doing something meaningful.”
Farah: “The times in my life when I have managed to be brave haven’t been terribly exciting or dramatic one-off events. Many times, being bold has been, for me, learning to take it on the chin; understanding that life will throw you a multitude of blows, some of them truly devastating, and the hardest and bravest thing to do is just get up in the morning anyway, brush your hair, get back to to work, to being a good friend, to being a good daughter, or whatever else.
Sami: “I was visiting Kupona’s sister organization in Tanzania to interview patients on the obstetric fistula ward. These ladies had suffered immense loss, discrimination, and physical trauma. I felt like a curious, nosy outsider, like I was intruding on their recovery. I told myself that they deserved to be heard, for themselves, and for the other women in Tanzania who were suffering in silence. I just needed to be bold enough to ask. Within ten minutes, these ladies were holding my hand, laughing at jokes, and sharing their pain and recovery with me like I was a sister instead of an interviewer. Their stories now sit on our website.”
Miia: “As a freshly graduated translator in my twenties I was starting my own business. Everything was a blank sheet, no customers and no salary – very scary. One day, having no luck in scoring low-paid and boring assignments, I sat down and I asked myself what my dream assignment would be. The answer was fashion magazine Elle. I took a deep breath and just called them. All this led to my first translation job – an article published in Elle. But the most important thing this taught me was that no dream is more than a call, an e-mail or a meeting away.
Grace: “I was invited to go to Rwanda for three and a half weeks and I was terrified. A couple days before I was set to leave I was approached by the Huffington Post. I didn’t think my voice was worth sharing and writing for the Huffington Post seemed daunting. Why would anyone want to read what I had to say? But in a moment of bravery, I decided that my voice, feelings and ideas were worthy. That decision started my interest in blogging. Maybe I am not the most qualified person to speak on women’s rights, international development and my generation, but I do have things to say. And my ideas matter.
Nelly: “I decided to hold a forum for girls in my village to talk openly about reproductive health and menstruation. This is a topic that is considered a taboo in my community and only to be discussed by women in the kitchen with their daughters and grandmother. I got threats from village elders but I took a bold step and did it anyway. They later apologized and now encourage me to help girls in the village who are at a very high risk of being victims of early/child marriages.”
Bita: The day I got out of an abusive relationship. I remember the day I thought,”I can’t let this keep happening to me”, and everyday since then I’ve told myself that healing is not linear, there are some very good days and some very bad days. To be out of that relationship and currently be in a loving one shows that I can be bold, that it CAN get better, and that there are people willing to help you forgive yourself and give yourself another chance.
Mia: “I’ve never felt more bold than when I gave birth to my daughter!”
Do you have a story of a time in your life when you’ve had to be bold? We’d love to hear it! Join us in celebration of boldness this International Women’s Day by sharing your answer in the comments or with #BeBoldForChange on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Cover photo credit: Eleanor Gall