To celebrate National Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th March, we wanted to highlight the inspiration women of today and champion their achievements. This is the day to appreciate their efforts and show just how valued they are. Without further ado, let’s talk inspirational women…
Broadcaster and author, Fearne Cotton, has used her platform to speak out about her personal feelings of eco-anxiety and promotes an ethical way of living. Her mission to find the joy in everyday spurred her into creating an award-winning podcast, ‘The Happy Place.’ During each episode, she delves into honest discussions featuring special guests who offer advice following their individual journeys and experiences.
Fearne does not shy away from real, personal issues during these podcasts, she promotes feelings of unity and positivity throughout, encouraging everyone to make changes for the better and discover their inner happiness. With her insightful perspectives and advice, Fearne has created a community focused on wellbeing and spirituality as she helps listeners through the various challenges of life.
Her ‘Happy Place’ brand does not stop there, she has captured the importance of self-care with her wellness-based products, centered around calm, energy and sleep. Her products include everything you can think of to help elevate your mood, from relaxing scented bath products to help people find their inner zen, to journaling books to ‘clear your head before bed.’ We love how Fearne is helping people affirm positivity here, offering a step in the right direction towards a mindful way of living.
Fearne has been seen promoting second-hand buying in recent years, spotted on Instagram styling up-cycled clothes which she has purchased from eBay. Her cruelty-free style continues to influence her millions of followers, promoting sustainably conscious buying habits. We love to see it!
Image from Instagram @fearnecotton
Listen to Fearne’s ‘Happy Place’ podcast here.
Katie Cohen is a mother of two who runs ‘It’s Our Planet Too’, an educational brand based in Hove which inspires children to care for the environment. After studying Environmental Science at University, Katie started this resource full of engaging facts, stories and rhymes to teach children about the important environmental issues we are facing in the world today.
‘It’s Our Planet Too’ encourages the ‘eco hero’ generation to take action and get stuck into a world of change. Katie provides free resources online such as the ‘little green star’ reward chart, where parents can reward their little ones each time they save energy or take time to care for plants and animals!
Since introducing a sustainable shop on the website, Katie has been donating proceeds to wildlife rangers who protect animals around the world. Katie’s efforts to empower children is making a real difference, bringing people together to strive for a greener future.
Image from www.itsourplanettoo.co.uk
Find out more about Katie’s story here.
Isatou Ceesay was born in Gambia in a town called N’jau. When she was a young girl, the community struggled with increasing problems with plastic littering the land. Isatou was determined to make an effort to turn this waste into something useful. This plastic would have otherwise been burnt for fuel to cook with, resulting in toxic waste being released into the atmosphere or left on the land, harming local animals and contaminating the meat.
After learning about the possibilities of recycling waste through a volunteering program, she decided to upcycle the plastic bags into purses and bags. Her sister taught her how to crochet so she took this skill and ran with it. Her project began in 1998 when she formed a group of female friends to help her clean, cut and thread the plastic yarn, transforming them into pretty, unique bags which they then sold at the market. To start with, one bag was made from 10 discarded plastic bags and took over 8 hours to make. These bags were very popular with the locals as they were so eye-catching and different.
The money the women earnt helped their community, as they grew vegetables and helped to pay for orphans to start school. The small business grew year by year as Isatou employed more women to make and sell the bags, providing income opportunities for the community. Isatou named the group N’jau Recycling and Income Generation Group (NRIGG).
In 2012, Isatou won a ‘Making a World of Difference’ Award from the International Alliance for Women and the Gambia’s government banned the import and use of plastic bags altogether in 2005. Today, Isatou continues to inspire people as she travels the world to share her story. She has educated communities all over Africa on the dangers of plastic and educates them on how to recycle waste in every way they can.
Read more about Isatou’s story here.
Emma Watson is best known for her role as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter series where she was portrayed as a beautiful woman whilst also being a strong warrior. Her role inspired the nation as she showed a women can be both strong and powerful, in her own words, Emma said, "Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior."
In every one of her acting roles since, she has continued to stand as a role model for people all over the world and has refused to change her body for certain roles, wanting to portray a healthy life image.
Emma is the Goodwill ambassador for UN Women, in 2014 she delivered a moving speech about gender inequality, where she spoke up against sexism. She later launched the ‘HeForShe’ movement which encourages men to be activists for gender equality. With her fight against sexism, the importance of breaking down gender stereotypes and equal opportunities for women, Emma Watson is without a doubt a strong, inspirational women to be celebrated on International Women’s Day.
Watch Emma’s Watson’s UN speech here.