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7 Women Kicking Booty and Taking Names

SDG #5

“Achieve gender quality and empower all women and girls” – SDG #5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Lofty? Yes. Necessary? Also, yes.

At Oliver Russell SDG #5 is one of our key focus areas. Not only do we believe it is important to strive for gender equality and empower women and girls, but we also think, in doing so, we’ll be on our way to solving many of the other ills the world faces.

Some of those ills are further exasperated by the pandemic – and it’s no secret that women are bearing the brunt of them. From serving on the frontlines in health, service and social work roles, to taking on additional household and child-minding burdens, to facing increased domestic violence against women and girls, it’s clear who is suffering most of all in our current context.

These extra burdens will remain until women are elevated into leadership roles at all levels of society. From the boardroom to the hallowed halls of Congress, to local city councils and everywhere between, it’s beyond time to make way for women to lead us out of the patriarchal and capitalist mess we’re in. Not just in the name of equality, but in the name of future generations.

Don’t believe us?

Check out what this select group of rad women-identifying leaders are doing to help move the needle on critical issues:

Vanessa Nakate – Founder of Rise Up Climate Movement and prominent member of Fridays for Future in Uganda

It is evident that among all of the existential crises that exist – the Climate Emergency is the most daunting. Vanessa Nakate has been protesting and raising awareness on the disproportionate impacts the climate crisis has on the African continent in particular (despite only contributing 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions) and the need for IMMEDIATE action to course correct before it’s too late. Putting pressure on world leaders to move faster, encouraging engagement with young girls to solve for climate justice and highlighting the environmental racism that holds the movement back are all ways Vanessa is bringing this critical conversation to the fore.

Amy Jo Miller – Co-Founder and COO of Goods Unite Us, Inc in Madison Wisconsin.

As a B Corp, we’re big fans of putting your money where your mouth is. Helping people do just that was exactly what Amy Jo Miller’s plan was when she launched Goods Unite Us. From highlighting the companies that have halted PAC donations to seeing a company’s politics by using a simple search on the site, Goods Unite Us helps you better understand the impact of your purchasing power.

Jameela Alia Jamil – English actor, radio presenter, model, writer and activist. Founder of Why Not People and the I Weigh Community

Jameela Jamil is working to make radical inclusivity the societal norm. From making intentional space for people with disabilities in cultural venues through Why Not People, and elevating the conversation around body positivity with her work creating the I Weigh Community, Jameela Jamil is at the forefront of helping people embrace the skin they’re in, confronting bullying and creating a world of inclusion that celebrating people’s gifts by fully accepting them as they are.

Sarah McBride – First Trangender state senator in the US, former press secretary of the LGBTQ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign.

One of the “Rainbow Wave” candidates on the ballot in November, Sarah McBride was elected to serve the state of Delaware and is now the highest-ranking, openly trans official in the country. She’s in the business of social change and advocacy and knows what it means to meet people where they are in order to move issues forward and break down barriers – to understanding, to progress and to finding “a home within our communities – where we are loved, embraced and supported.”

Maria Hinojosa – Mexican-American Journalist, anchor and executive producer of Latino USA on NPR, founder, president and CEO of Futuro Media Group.

Bringing to life stories that would otherwise go untold, Maria Hinojosa infuses warmth and depth into issues under the social and economic justice umbrella, humanizing even the most difficult issues of our day. She has earned numerous awards for her work including a Peabody, four Emmys, and many others. Maria’s reporting grounds listeners in truth and elevates the authenticity of unique perspectives in an accessible, relatable way that inspires empathy.

Linda Sarsour – is an American activist who co-chaired the Women’s March on Washington,  Day Without a Woman, and the March2Justice

Focused on civil rights issues ranging from police brutality, Muslim rights, feminism, immigration policy and mass incarceration, Linda has long been at the head of movements to restore justice. As director of the Arab American Association of New York she made progress on issues of racial profiling in policing and fought for recognition of Islamic holidays in the public school system. She has also organized Black Lives Matter demonstrations and was the lead plaintiff in the suit challenging the legality of the former administration’s travel ban.

In Memoriam

Ma Kyal Sin “Angel” – Young teenage activist murdered on the frontlines of the ongoing coup protests in Myanmar.

Our hearts are heavy for the people of Myanmar who have been protesting against a military coup since February 1st. More than 60 people have been killed in the violent attacks by military forces against peaceful protestors wanting to restore democracy, among them, Ma Kyal Sin “Angel” . A young woman who even in her death wanted to share life, leaving details of her blood group, a contact number and a request to donate her body in the event of her death before she joined the frontlines of the protest. We raise her up for her courage and bravery in this tumultuous time for Myanmar, and by doing so hope to shed light on this growing humanitarian crisis abroad. Her death, nor the deaths of her comrades, will not be in vain.

Rest in Power, Angel.

Thank you for reading through these short profiles of just this small handful of women we admire. We know and are so grateful there are so many women doing incredible work to move the world forward.

We’d love to hear about the women in your life who are inspiring you, bringing communities together or tackling tricky issues with gusto. Reach out if you have ideas on how we can help support them in their efforts because it will take all of us to solve for equality.