Muslim Girl, Bjork, Gloria Steinem + India Arie

This week I took time to reflect not only on 2015 but also write the monthly GlobalWoman Round-Up. December delivered with the following bold, original and empowered woman living revolutionary lives. 

MUSLIM GIRL is the expression of a desire among Muslim women to see themselves outside of Western binary that limits their role to “victim, submissive, exotic or violent”.

For me, the end-game has always been cultivating a voice for Muslim women, creating presence for Muslim women, becoming a force to be reckoned with as Muslim women.

The 21st century is the century where the old patriarchies just don’t work. Everyone is tired of them, including men.

  • December was transformational for the women of Saudi Arabia. For the first time in the country’s history, women voted and ran in elections + 3,000 women attended an all-female gaming convention (GCON) in Saudi Arabia. In this deeply conservative society, with its strict moral codes of behavior and gender segregation, many young Saudi women turn to social media and technology to express themselves.

GCON was born after female gamers were barred from an all-male gaming convention in 2011. Aside from the joys of gaming, GCON encourages girls to aim for careers in science and computer programming. For women of Saudi Arabia, it’s a social revolutionTweet This

  • The new female role models: powerful superheroines. Some of the most exciting, diverse and original characters to be depicted on screen for years are going to be played by women. Sandra Bullock has said she will only consider roles written for men.

Rey, tellingly, is not an archetype, but rather a fully realized character, subtle and nuanced and human. She, as a character, luxuriates in her own subjectivity.

  • Sweden announced that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist manifesto, “We Should All Be Feminists,” will be distributed to every 16-year-old high school student in the country. The manifesto is based on Nigerian-born Adichie’s popular 2012 Ted Talk** of the same name and sampled by Beyonce in her song “Flawless.”***

I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where a woman is never told that she can or cannot or should or should not do anything because she is a woman. I want to live in a world where men and women are happier. Where they are not constrained by gender roles. I want to live in a world where men and women are truly equal. And that’s why I’m a feminist.

  • American Vogue photographed 13 women leading the way as climate warriors. In December more than 190 countries gathered in Paris for the world’s largest summit on climate change to reach a historic agreement to address global warming. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner is a poet and climate activist from the Marshall Islands, sitting an average of two meters above sea level.

It’s hard to confront the fear that your island could be gone permanently and that your people would be wandering.

  • Gloria Steinem was asked what excites her right now. “When I’m talking to people, I find myself quoting the three organizing rules of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter was initiated by three young women, and too few people know that.” Tweet This

The first one is lead with love. The second is low ego, high impact. The third is move with the speed of trust. I must say those make me feel very hopeful for the future.

  • Pioneering transgender actress Holly Woodlawn passed away. Born Haroldo Danhakl in Puerto Rico, Woodlawn grew up in Miami before hitchhiking, at 15, to New York City. Holly’s story famously inspired the first verse of Lou Reed’s 1972 “Walk on the Wild Side”.

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A. Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A. Plucked her eyebrows on the way. Shaved her legs and then he was a she. She says, 'Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.

Thank you for travelling the GlobalWoman journey with us in 2015. We look forward to more powerful realisations and expressions as we find a life that is ours.


Kathryn x

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