If there’s anyone we would class as a feminist, it’s girls’ rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head at point-blank range by the Taliban when she was just 14 years old. But, despite her pioneering work, it turns out Malala has struggled to identify as a feminist. “It has been a tricky word. When I heard it the first time I heard some negative responses and some positive ones. I hesitated in saying am I feminist or not?” the 18-year-old said. Malala’s revelation came during an interview with actress and UN spokesperson Emma Watson as part of the #HeForShe campaign, which is what made Malala changer her views on the word.
She said to Emma, “After hearing your speech I decided there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I’m a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, but ultimately, Malala has done so much for women and girls’ rights in her short life that it almost doesn’t matter how she describes herself – actions speak far louder than words after all, and it is much easier to simply label yourself as a feminist than to actively embrace those beliefs. In fact, despite 81% of people believing men and woman should be treated equally, only 19% of the UK population would identify themselves as a feminist, according to a YouGov survey, proving that we still have a long way to go before woman really feel comfortable with the concept.
Thankfully, ladies like Malala and Emma are seriously helping the cause, with Emma posting a video of her Malala interview to facebook (watch the whole thing below) with the caption, ‘Let’s not make it scary to say you’re a feminist. I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let’s join our hands and move together so we can make real change. Malala and I are pretty serious about it but we need you.’
We’re with you ladies. If you’re feeling inspired by Malala, her inspiring film He Named Me Malala hits cinemas today. That’s our weekend plans sorted…