3 TEENAGE GIRLS CHANGING THE WORLD: HOW POWERFUL WE CAN ALL BE
If you are a dystopia fan, you may have noticed how the hero is often a teenage girl. I, who is currently writing that article, is a reading fan, a bookworm to be exact. Dystopia is not my favorite. It’s all about an alternative world (either on a near post-apocalyptic future or a different present where passed events had a different outcome) where living is hardly bearable, and society is divided between the few persons left on earth. Then, a main character overthrow the government and new possibilities appears for a better world. If you still have zero idea of what I am talking, think of 1984 by George Orwell, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Hunger games by Suzan Collins or The handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood.
Welcome to a whole new world.
The heroes of the biggest franchises are frequently women and more so teenage girls or very young adult. When I look at book or movie reviews, I read sometimes “yeah, it’s like one teenage girl is going to change the whole world” and I ask myself: are these people aware of our societies? Because let’s be honest: our world HATES girls. They hate their music (hello boys band hate), they hate their movies (hello Twilight and other teenage drama) they hate their wardrobe (hello unwanted sexualization and unfair dress codes) and pretty much everything that they do on a daily basis. The audacity they have à vivre tho. And yet, young women, because they are the least legitimate group of people, are actually the ones who fight the most for social equality, female rights, LGBT+ rights, environment protection, and so on. Joan of Arc, Ruby Bridges, Anne Frank, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Emma González… So many girls changed so much on each of their fields. At Namur Brand, this is something so important to us. We want you, on this women’s rights’ month, to meet those 3 incredible girls all around the world, get to know them and support them any way you can.
- JAZZ JENNINGS : Jazz is a 19 years old girl, influencer, youtuber, TV personality and is fighting for transpeople rights. She is herself a transwoman, lives as a girl since she is 5 and announced it to the world when she was 11 on the Oprah Winfrey network, back in 2011 in a show called “I am Jazz : A family in transition”. In 2015, she appears on the 30 most influential teens list of Time. “The main thing that really keeps me motivated in continuing to share my story,” Jennings told TIME in July of that year, “is the fact that I know change is being created when I see people who tell me that I’ve really affected their lives. It’s just a beautiful thing”. Since then, she wrote a book for trans children, adds videos on Youtube educating people on transgender people, continues her show on TLC about being a transgender teen, posts pictures on Instagram (she posted on December, 31st, a picture of her on a bikini, showing her gender confirmation surgery scars) and keep being a LGBT+ activist.
- AHED TAMIMI : Ahed is born January, 31st 2001 in a Palestine devasted by war. Her family is already in the activism world, wanting Palestine to get her land back from Israeli people using extreme violence due to the war context in Palestine’s land. December, the 15th, she slaps an Israeli soldier in Nabi Salih, a village in West Bank. That happened on the sidelines of a demonstration against USA’s President Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem the capital city of Israel and after her cousin got hit by a plastic bullet that put him into coma. The video became viral and Ahed is arrested and condemned to eight months in prison. The video did it job and more and more people rallied to Ahed’s cause. She got out on July of that year and did a one year tour around the world to spread awareness on her homeland being occupied by Israel people and keeps fighting Israeli army until this day.
- MELATI AND ISABEL WIJSEN : at only 12 and 10, Melati and Isabel Wijsen, two Indonesian sisters created their company Bye Bye Plastic Bags back is 2013 to stop the plastic pollution. Petitions (one million of signatures), stickers to sellers who stop using plastic bags, animation in Bali schools, distribution of paper or fishnet bags… Nothing works to changes their governor mindset. So, they decide around 2015 to start a hunger strike. In 72 hours, all the medias of Bali are aware of their fight and their governor invites them for a meeting. He promises that Bali will be plastic free by 2018. And so, it was. Single used plastics are now banned from Bali, thank to those two fighters. They keep fighting pollution on a worldwide scale.
Obviously, girls and young women aren’t the only ones changing the world but if we have to be honest, they are the ones who does the most precisely because they are the ones who has the less and are more likely to have the most to lose. They are fierce, fearless, resilient, brave, outstanding and incredibly inspiring. They shine in adversity. They are impressive by their perseverance. And most of all, they are drove by the magnificence acknowledgement that they do good. And we should be inspired by them.