Women and men across the globe choose to challenge gender bias and inequality. They are forging an inclusive world. On International Women’s Day, we celebrate some of these trailblazers and their achievements.
From health care and sexual rights to economic empowerment, political participation, and food security, these colleagues and partners cover wide-ranging fields of civil action. They are all gender equality activists.
They don’t have thousands of followers on social media. Mostly, they work outside the spotlight. They don’t ask for a pat on the back. But we shine a light on them. Because without them, the world wouldn’t move forward. If the word wasn’t so inflated, we’d call them heroes.
You can read their stories by clicking on the pictures.
Samar Al-qadi from Yemen
is a medical doctor and promotes access to reproductive health services for women in Yemen. She works for Yamaan Foundation. “Many women came to our hospital after getting beaten up by their husbands.”
Luz Adriana Rodas from Colombia
supports survivors of gender-based violence. “We have to keep engaging men so that they can play their part to end patriarchal practices and the miseries they cause.”
Ali Moadeb from Iraq
is a youth leader in Kirkuk. With young women and men from across Northern Iraq, he raises awareness about harmful gender norms and gender-based violence.
Anne Kwakkenbos from the Netherlands
is Cordaid’s Gender expert. She is based in The Hague and works with gender equality activists all over the world. “Unfortunately, the power often lies with older men. They aren’t always happy to share it. We need to challenge that.”
Nasima Omari from Afghanistan
is Cordaid’s lobby and advocacy expert in Kabul. She advocates for the meaningful participation of women in Afghanistan’s peace process. “In between our activism, we try to raise our kids, to have a life. It grinds us down and lifts us up. At least, working from home around the clock, our men now see what we do. How we fight.”
Aboubakar Backo from Cameroon
is Cordaid’s Health and SRHR Expert based in Yaoundé. “We need men to continue the fight against inequality.”
Idrissa Sesay from Sierra Leone
is Cordaid’s gender focal point in Sierra Leone. “Women already know the answers, they know the solutions. They understand the issues and challenges that they face in a patriarchal society like that of Sierra Leone.”
Morsheda Khatun from Bangladesh
is a Nutrition Sales Agent. She lives and works in Gaibandha district, one of the most underserved parts of Bangladesh. “People from my community, including men, often come to me for advice. I never experienced this before. It kind of gives me a sense of equality in my family and in society.”