Like any good campaign these days, I wanted to find a way to start a movement on social media. That’s how it’s done now, right? So I decided to start the hashtag: #strongforgirls.
You may notice it is also part of the URL for my fundraising page and it sums up exactly what I am doing and why. You see, we often think how women and girls have a hard time – in other countries or in days gone past. Yet women and girls still don’t quite enjoy the same privileges as men. Today. Right here. It starts with still existing gender expectations and ends with rape culture and violence.
Let me give you a couple of current examples:
- Sex education is no longer mandatory. This is bad news for everyone, really. But it certainly disadvantages girls even more. Because let’s face it, teenagers are going to get at it whether they learn about it or not. But the one that falls pregnant and as a result misses out on a decent education will be the girl. Another fact we have to face is that pornography is freely available online and is swiftly replacing sexual education. But guess what, there is one MAJOR element missing from pornography that differentiates real life sex from the fantasy world that is porn – CONSENT. Boys and girls don’t learn how to ask for it or how to give it.
- Women are still paid less. Don’t tell me it isn’t so – I earned #5k less than my male pears when I worked in IT.
I am using the hashtag #strongforgirls because my journey onto the bodybuilding stage will benefit Rosa UK, who will be able to fund vital work across their four pillars:
- Leadership and Representation
- Health and Wellbeing
- Economic Justice
My journey is literally one of strength. Having gone from bedridden to bodybuilding, building strength and muscle is now my objective. But there are so many ways we can be strong for women and girls and I hope that my hashtag will catch on.
How can you help?
For the hashtag to gain popularity, it needs to be shared and used far and wide. Use it every time you see a post or article on someone standing up or doing something for women’s rights. For example Khloe Thompson that sews bags and fills them with hygiene products for homeless women. Or the letter from Jared Mauldin highlighting the inequality as he sees it in the engineering industry. And all those people that work tirelessly to support women across the many rape centres we luckily have in this country.
If you see a similar story, why not share it using #strongforgirls?
Did you miss me on the Radio?
You can still catch the show on Healthy Wandsworth here.