8 Women Who Inspired Us In 2018

Women Power

Photobook celebrates International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Did you know over 1 million people participated in the first ever International Women’s Day (IWD) gathering? For an inauguration dating back to 1911, that’s mind-blowing!

From an event involving only four nations, IWD has burgeoned into an annual, global occasion. Every 8 March, citizens and corporations from the world over come together in spirit and action to honour the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. At the same time, calling for the acceleration of gender parity.

At the time of writing, the gender parity among Photobook Worldwide staff is
an impressive 49 to 51. A significant progress from 30% female to 70% male!

Themed #BalanceforBetter this year, the 108th IWD campaign message calls for a gender-balanced world. For economies and communities to thrive, gender balance is crucial in the boardroom and government, media and sports coverage, jobs, wealth, and more.

International Women's Day 2019 'hands out' balance pose.

Post your IWD 2019 message on social media with the official ‘hands out’ balance pose.

In the spirit of #BalanceforBetter, we’ve taken on the impossible task of shortlisting 8 women who have pushed boundaries, challenged stereotypes, forged positive visibility of women, and kicked ass in their own scope of things in the past year. Shout-out also to the nations and collectives which have advanced their state of gender equality!

1. Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese tennis player to win the grand slam

Playing and then beating your idol – especially when it’s 23-time champ Serena Williams – is no mean feat, but it didn’t happen without drama. Nonetheless, Serena handled the trophy ceremony with class when she supported the breakthrough star amid the booing and gave Naomi her rightful limelight. #womenempoweringwomen

2. Women in Saudi Arabia are finally, legally allowed to drive

June 24 was a historical date for the Gulf kingdom, following its royal family’s decision to lift the ban in Sept 2017.

Women Power

During the 2018 World Cup, Iranian women were allowed to watch the live broadcast of the Iran vs. Spain game in a stadium – their first visit in 40 years!

3. Catt Sadler ended her contract with E! News upon discovering her male co-host was making “double” her salary

The pay gap was despite both Catt and Jason Kennedy started working at the network at the same time, and their virtually identical roles. Her departure sparked a nationwide conversation on gender-based pay inequality in the workplace.

4. Nadia Murad, the first Iraqi woman to receive a Nobel Peace prize

An activist and advocate for victims of sex trafficking, Nadia is from the persecuted Yazidi religious minority in Iraq and an ex-ISIS captive. She shares the 2018 award with Dr. Denis Mukwege; both recognised for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The #MeToo movement gave women from various industries and backgrounds the courage to speak out against sexual assault and harassment.

Social activist Tarana Burke began using the phrase “Me Too” back in 2006, which was then popularised by celebrities in 2017.

5. Tarana Burke, BethAnn McLaughlin, and Sherry Marts led #MeToo in STEM

The trio was honoured with MIT’s 2018 Media Lab Disobedience Award for promoting the #MeToo movement in science. Tarana, founder of the Me Too movement, joined forces with BethAnn and Sherry to empower survivors of sexual assault and harassment, call on institutions to hold abusers accountable, and assist organisations within the industry in improving their values and methods.

6. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended a United Nations general assembly meeting with her baby girl

She was the second elected head of state to give birth while in office, and also the first world leader to take maternity leave, returning to work only six weeks later (NZ’s parental leave eligibility is 22 weeks). A loud and clear testament that a woman does not have to choose between being a mother and a key decision maker.

Women from diverse backgrounds marching towards a #BalanceForBetter world.

How would you contribute to a #BalanceForBetter world?

7. Actress Jameela Jamil launched @i_Weigh on Instagram to champion body positivity

Known not only for her role in The Good Place, the British host is an unapologetically vocal proponent of body positivity. Inspired by a photo of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters which scrutinised their body weights, Jameela kick-started the @i_Weigh movement to cultivate a sense of self-worth that transcends our physiques. Followers are welcome to submit unedited selfies with the hashtag #iweight and what they’re grateful for and proud of.

8. Arlan Hamilton, the CEO who paved the way for diversity in venture capital funding

With less than 10% of venture dollars going to women, people of colour, and LGBTQ  founders, Arlan saw a huge investment opportunity in the tech scene’s lopsided status quo. In May 2018, her firm Backstage Capital achieved the goal of investing (over US$4mil) in 100 high-quality startups led by underrepresented founders – 1.5 years early!



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