Alaa Al-Eryani: Courageous Self Love

“I started to believe that everything I was ever taught and told was wrong, and that my value as a woman is not less than a man. We are all human beings, we are all equals.” says Alaa Al-Eryani in this episode of The Power of Your Story Podcast. Alaa is a Yemeni Gender Equality advocate, a Women Deliver Young Leader, and the founder of The Yemeni Feminist Movement online platform. She shares her story of overcoming discriminatory gender norms, leaving an abusive marriage and her path to self love.

“I found confidence when I started to love myself. And when I started to love myself, that’s when I truly believed that everything I had thought about myself was not true.” 

Alaa Al-Eryani inspires us with her positive outlook on change. She shows tremendous courage and stands up for what she truly believes in. She tells us about how sharing her own story and talking to others has helped her to take steps towards healing and recovery.

“I think a lot of us underestimate what the support of others can do.”

The Power of Your Story Podcast is a production in partnership with SayItForward.org. We are so inspired by the many stories that women and girls share on the Say It Forward platform. Personal stories of overcoming fears, limiting beliefs, or circumstances that have held women and girls back. Sayitforward.org welcomes any woman, any girl from anywhere in the world to share her unique story and inspire others. We hope you are inspired to share your story too.

In this episode Alaa says, “It really helped me in my healing and recovery process when I shared my story. ” 

This is the 6th episode of The Power of Your Story Podcast. We hope you have enjoyed this new podcast series as much as we have! We still have several inspiring episodes left. Please consider leaving a rating in your podcast app and sharing this podcast with a friend. Thank you.

Lina Lindahl: Change is Constant

In this episode of The Power of Your Story Podcast, Girls’ Globe founder Julia Wiklander speaks with Lina Lindahl. Lina and Julia are good friends, and this honest conversation takes place in Lina’s living room in Malmö, Sweden. After living in the United States for 10 years, Lina’s visa was rejected and she was forced to return to Sweden – a place that no longer felt like home. She talks about overcoming setbacks, changing paths, identity, community and family.

Lina’s confidence has taken her far in life, but she asks, “What happens if you fail, who are you then? Who am I without my success?”


“We are afraid of showing ourselves when it is not a success story. And just talking about our fears and our failures, and seeing that from others might change the conversations we have with people.”

The Power of Your Story Podcast is made in partnership with SayItForward.org – the platform where every woman and girl is encouraged to share her unique story of overcoming the fears, personal beliefs or circumstances that have held her back.

Lina now dedicates her life to empowering others through yoga. She shares her story of picking up the pieces when life didn’t turn out as she had envisioned it.

“We are so focused on wanting to make change. But accept, and then change will come. Because, that’s the only thing we know, in life, change is constant. So trust that.”

The Power of Your Story Podcast is an interview series with women from around the world. You can find it where podcasts are found! As this is a brand new podcast, we would love for you to share it with others and rate it in whichever app you use.

Becoming a Mother can be Good for Your Career

When I was pregnant, headlines such as Children Hurt Women’s Earnings, but Not Men’s (Even in Scandinavia) kept popping up in my feed. This was not very encouraging – but it also wasn’t surprising. Women face discrimination in many areas of life, and returning to work after having a baby is no exception.

Have you heard of the Motherhood Penalty?

The Motherhood Penalty refers to the disadvantages women with children face in the workplace – including being paid less than working fathers and women without children.

And it doesn’t stop there. Working mothers are less likely to get hired and promoted, and the recommended salaries are lower. They are also perceived as less competent and less committed to their work. Working fathers, on the other hand, seem to benefit from being a parent by being perceived as more committed. It also seems to be more acceptable for men with children to be late for work.

Having been a mother now for over a year, I really don’t see why working mothers should be discriminated in the workplace. To me, it is obvious that motherhood has made me better at what I do. I wish there was more awareness of how being a mother can help you in your career.

Regardless of whether you are working from home, working for a company, have your own business or work in academia, being a mother can bring value to your career.

1. You learn to work smarter.
As a working mother, you will master time management. Time is always short, and things need to get done.

2. You learn to adjust and solve problems quickly.
No matter how good you are at planning, you will encounter unexpected problems that need solving – fast. This skill is useful in all aspects of life.

3. Your patience grows.
As a mother, you know that good things take time. If you find something worthy of your time, you’ll be willing to wait for it.

4. You learn to delegate.
If you, like me, used to be the kind of person who took on too many tasks, motherhood teaches you not to do this – you simply don’t have the time.

5. Your priorities change.
Perhaps you start to reconsider your previous life and career choices, or maybe you decide to change career altogether. Having a child is indeed life-changing.

6. Being a mother could make you more ambitious.
Because of your lack of time, you might start to avoid certain tasks and realize that you only have time to do the things that take you forward.

I ask all working mothers to emphasize that being a mother can make you better at what you do for a living.

Don’t hide an employment gap due to having a baby in your CV. Instead, put it out there and explain how it has changed you and improved your performance.

Motherhood is challenging, for sure, but it can also be incredibly empowering. Giving birth and raising another human being gave me a new type of confidence. It made me feel like I could do anything.

As a new mother, you will get a crash course in life and this little human will train you in ways you can never expect. Motherhood made me stronger, more creative and ambitious. I thought I was tough before, but motherhood made me rock hard. If you decide to become a mother, don’t let anyone tell you it will hold you back in your career.

Chrissy’s Birth Story: a new kind of confidence

In the latest episode of the Positive Birth Story Podcast, Chrissy talks about giving birth to her first child. She learns that textbooks aren’t always right and not all first-time moms have long births.

The whole process was much faster than Chrissy had anticipated and left her with a newfound confidence in herself.

“I’m really really happy to share my story with other people so that they don’t assume that birth has to be scary, or that birth has to be complicated. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes even if it is complicated, it’s still beautiful.”


The Positive Birth Story Podcast features empowering & positive stories about birth. Swedish midwife Åsa Holstein shares her in-depth knowledge of birth and speaks to brave women who share their personal stories. This is a podcast with women, for women about the super power that resides in all of us.

Find all episodes of The Positive Birth Story Podcast here.

Acne Acceptance, Self-Love & Solidarity on Instagram

I’m 19 and have struggled with acne for almost 10 years. I’ve never met anyone that looks the way I do and felt really alone growing up. At times, it has been soul destroying to live with.

My skin problems are a result of having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a condition that affects up to one in 10 women and has really taken its toll on my life.

In the last few years, I have been focusing heavily on trying to accept and love the way I look.

It’s very difficult, as my scarring is so severe and I get stares, questions and nasty comments from so many people. I absolutely hate when people stare and whisper in public places about my skin, or offer their opinions and tips on products they think would help. If I had a pound for every time someone suggests a miracle product from Lush I would be a millionaire!

I’ve had acne for as long as I can remember. I can’t remember what my skin looks like without it.

For a long time, I felt that bad skin was the end of the world – especially in school. I felt so rubbish about myself all the time and often felt alone and frustrated due to the way I was treated. People I considered friends would make jokes about my skin and bring me down at any opportunity.

It felt like I had nobody to turn to when I was feeling down. I can see now that the people I was surrounded by were toxic and unhelpful in my journey towards acceptance. I realised that far too late – once the damage was already done.

It has taken me a really long time to accept the way my skin is.

For years, I was unable to go out in public without makeup out of sheer embarrassment. Today, I can go about my daily life with very little notice of it. I still have bad days when I hate my skin but they are becoming few and far between.

I developed an interest in makeup about 4 years ago due to needing and wanting to cover my skin. More recently, I have created an Instagram account to show my skin journey. I just want to try and help people learn to love the way they look no matter what flaws they may have, and to help people build their confidence.

With @abis_acne, I want to show the world that acne does not define you. Acne doesn’t change you as a person in any way shape or form, and it isn’t permanent.

From my own experience, I know how mentally challenging it can be to live with acne. I made the instagram for anyone that feels underrepresented, especially in the age of social media. It’s a reminder that you aren’t alone and that your skin does not define you or alter your level of beauty.

On some days I feel like I’m at my wits end. It’s so disheartening when you think you are getting places and then things get worse. The stares and questions are bad enough, but I’ll never understand people who grimace at the sight of my skin or have something rude to say.

A few weeks ago, somebody pulled up to me in traffic. They made me roll my car window down so they could tell me my skin was “disgusting” and I “shouldn’t expose people to the sight of it”. This wrecked me and really hurt me on a deeper level. It was completely unprovoked and just an outright awful experience.

Over time, I’ve learned to brush people’s opinions off. I’ve often edited my social media pictures or used filters to cover up my skin and make it look better than it actually is. However, I have come to realise that nobody is walking around looking airbrushed. Everyone has their flaws and nobody looks like an Instagram model.

I’m learning to stop comparing myself to the absurd standards which are promoted within the beauty industry.

I try not to let my acne stop me from doing things or achieving certain things, but it is easier said than done. Obviously, I look different to most people I know and to be at peace with this has taken me a long time. Even now, I will admit it stops me from meeting new people.

Through Instagram, I’m starting to find people I can relate to and chat to about our experiences and feelings. Finding new friends and the lovely people I have encountered so far is heart warming. I definitely think my confidence has risen since I started the account. It’s helping me to just love myself a bit more and appreciate that this is my skin and I have to own it!

By sharing my own experience, I hope I can at least help one person. If I can, that’s my job done.

In Conversation with Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri

Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri is a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate from Kenya. She speaks to Girls’ Globe about the challenges she has encountered as a young woman in a patriarchal society.

“In many SRHR spaces we have male dominancy, and at times it can be very intimidating, especially to a young woman.”

This video was made possible through a generous grant from SayItForward.org in support of women’s advocacy messages.

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love our interviews with KingaWinfredScarlett, Natasha and Tasneem, too!