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Youth-led women’s movements breaking the mould

Issues Affecting Women Programme / Partner story

Illustration by El Boum for FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund

This International Women’s Day we are celebrating the work of the youth-led women’s movements around the globe and how their creative ways are bringing about hopeful and exciting change for women and girls today.

Around the world, public spaces that used to transmit fear are being transformed using beautifully painted murals, thanks to Fearless Collective. A movement of young artists, Fearless Collective is a South Asia-based project that creates public art demonstrating women who are misrepresented and underrepresented, as they wish to be seen. In total, 38 murals depicting women and their significance in societies have been co-created in over 10 countries. This people-led movement uses storytelling to engage in conversations on social justice while also effectively choosing love, compassion and abundance in its artistic expression. The organisation has co-created murals depicting: strength and solidarity among Indigenous women; refugee women defending women’s and children’s rights; women reclaiming their bodies after sexual assault; and women calling for environmental and cultural protection. To learn more about its work and read the stories behind their murals, visit the Fearless Collective website.

Engaging youth and opening dialogue about the social justice issues affecting their communities, Girl Be Heard is using socially conscious theatre-making to celebrate the voices of young women. Every year Girl Be Heard engages over 200 youth in 12-month programmes and thousands more with its performances. Having performed everywhere from the United Nations to underserved communities, the organisation works to create a world in which every girl is valued and encouraged to be a leader and changemaker. Girl Be Heard raises awareness about the epidemic of injustices plaguing girls – such as racism, sexism, poverty, hunger, homelessness, segregation, gentrification, sex trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence, to name a few. Find out more about Girl Be Heard and see videos of its performances, check out the Girl Be Heard website.

Leaning into the collective power of young feminists as the leaders and transformers of their own communities, FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund is the first and only youth-led funder of feminist organisations. What truly makes FRIDA unique is its participatory model where grantee partners hold equal power and become genuine decision-makers in the process. This shift allows young feminists to have a seat at the table and puts FRIDA in the position of supporting them to achieve their dreams and make the world a more just place. This shake-up of the status quo in funding models is amplifying and diversifying the impact of its grantee partners, to learn more about FRIDA, take a look at its website.

These grants fall under Oak’s Issues Affecting Women Programme, which envisions a world where women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to live their lives free from violence and enjoy their full and equal human rights. To learn more about our Issues Affecting Women Programme strategy, take a look at our website. Well done to all our partners, we are celebrating your great work on International Women’s Day to advance women’s equality and are excited to hear more about your work in the future!