To celebrate 2020's International Day of the Girl, WOW's Founder and Director Jude Kelly interviewed three young activists about their work and what life as a girl campaigner is like. Watch the short films and find out more below.
Don't forget to explore our Young Leaders Directory to discover more brilliant girl and non-binary activists.
Heba Rose Ahmed
Heba Rose Ahmed is a 16-year-old human rights & anti-racism activist from Manchester. She is known for creating the Manchester March Instagram page for Black Lives Matter, which was instigated by the death of George Floyd. Heba was responsible for 15,000 people attending the BLM protest at Piccadilly Gardens. She organised the event, scheduled the speakers and conducted the protest walk, leading thousands of people to march for Black people's equality - the largest civil rights march in Manchester's history. When asked why, Heba said that her father always told her to fight for what she believes in. So with the help of her family and friends she did. In the future Heba hopes to push an anti racist campaign. Definitely a political face to look out for in the future!
Amika George is a 20 year old student at Cambridge University, who, at the age of 17, started the Free Periods campaign from her bedroom to end period poverty in the UK. After reading about children missing school, as they were unable to afford menstrual products, Amika started an online movement, organised a protest in London, attended by over 2,000 young people, and launched a legal campaign. In 2019, her campaign successfully persuaded the UK government to provide free menstrual products in all English schools and colleges from 2020. She has received global recognition for her campaigning work, including receiving a Goalkeepers Campaign award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations, and she was listed by TIME magazine as one of the 25 most influential teenagers in the world. She has launched the next phase of Free Periods, campaigning to ensure that every child worldwide has access to education, uninhibited by their period, and working to destigmatise menstruation and eradicate the taboo around periods. In January 2021, her new book Make It Happen: How to be an Activist will be published by Harper Collins.
Hayat Muse is a 18-year-old youth activist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2018, Hayat co-founded youth education reform organisation Kow iyo Labo as a result of her own struggles within the education system and witnessing first hand the inequity present within it. The organisation provides individual tutoring to students, personal and academic mentorships, and support workshops for parents and teachers. They also advocate on the political front, from lobbying to fighting for diverse student representation on school boards to their advocacy initiative working alongside lawmakers. Since 2018, Kow iyo Labo has impacted 600+ students, parents and teachers, with a team of 60 mentors and tutors.