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  • Writer's pictureGemma Walton

International Women’s Day 2022 – Women Forging Change

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

Today is International Women’s Day 2022 and we are celebrating the achievements of women who are doing great things to create a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. One that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together they are showing that we can forge women's equality and that collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.


I’ve chosen to focus my blog post’s today on women who are really making changes in the following areas:


  • Women and Sport

  • Women’s Empowerment &

  • Women Forging Change


Some of these amazing women that are not afraid to stand up and make their message heard fall into more than one of these categories.


Women Forging Change In The Music Industry


I’ve chosen to focus on the music industry for this category as I think there are some amazing examples of women in the music industry who are forging change, standing up for themselves and trying to create equality.


I’ve already talked about two of these great women in my previous blog post “Women’s Empowerment” – Lady Gaga and Madonna but there are other amazing examples of women standing up to be counted and forging change.


There are several Grammy winning artists who are breaking barriers and empowering women and girls around the world including:


Alicia Keys


Who throughout her career, has used her music and her platform to advocate for women and girls through songs of female empowerment like “Superwoman” and “Girl on Fire” to speaking up about self-acceptance and body positivity.


She has said:


“Being a woman, being a girl, is the most awesome thing to be. I personally feel we are the more evolved species.”


But not everyone feels that way — and that’s what Keys hopes to change. Especially when it comes to gender inequality in the workplace.


Until we’re in those rooms as equally as men are, it can’t shift. We have to infiltrate our industries. Period. We have to. That alone will shift the power balance.”



Pink


Who has been a proud advocate for women’s rights and a symbol of female empowerment for nearly two decades.


In one of her early hits, “Stupid Girl,” Pink sings:


“I'm so glad that I'll never fit in/ That will never be me/ Outcasts and girls with ambition/ That's what I wanna see.”


And that has been the message she sends in all that she does. Pink has consistently pushed back against gender stereotypes — from her edgy haircut to her “label-less” parenting style to her provocative, feminist song lyrics.


“I don’t like labels at all ... I believe that a woman and a girl can do anything,”


Queen Latifah


Was one of a handful of female rappers and she used her unique position to champion women’s empowerment.


“I chose to kind of take the route of uplifting women by trying to make some records that had some positive thoughts in it.” Through songs like “Ladies First” and “U.N.I.T.Y.,” she challenged misogyny in the hip-hop industry and called for black women’s voices to be raised up in music and society at large.


Check out some of the other Grammy winning artists championing equality here:



Despite the Beyonce's; Taylor Swift’s and Adele’s of this world, there is a distinct difference between the ways in which the music industry treats its male and female professionals. In recent years there has been more and more said about sexism in the industry, with artists like Lilly Allen, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift speaking out on the issue.

I came across this great article “The ‘Dangerous Women’ of the Music Industry and Why They Matter” make sure you check it out:



The music industry seems like a beacon of hope to women everywhere as there are so many positive examples of female artists to look up to. Ones who are speaking out about female empowerment and forging change. But it’s clear that the industry itself still has a long way to go.


Check out this article “Female Representation In The Music Industry Matters Too”:



where you can learn more about their struggles and what women are doing to break barriers and take charge of their own careers like; setting up their own labels. But it’s clear that female artists are on a mission to highlight the lack of female representation in the music industry and empower others to speak up and have a voice.


There have been many other women who have broken barriers in the music industry, forged changed and spoken out about female empowerment. Some of these include:


Beyonce


Who dropped her fifth studio album which was self-titled in a revolutionary way, without warning and all of the album tracks had feminism themes throughout. Her drive and strength as a woman has influenced many girls and females across the world.


Kesha


Who for many years went without releasing music due to a lawsuit. But she never gave up and was brave enough to speak her truth and her story which inspired many others including fellow artists to do the same. A lot of artists came to her aide when she needed it, creating a group that included fellow artists like Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Lorde, Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift all of whom used their platforms to spread awareness of her plight and sexual harassment and gender equality in the music industry.


She performed her song "Praying" at the 2018 Grammy Awards and was joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Camilla Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day and Julia Michaels all dressed in white showed a solidarity among female artists.


Check out her performance:

Vanity Fair wrote a great article about her performance which was the standout performance of the night that you can read here:



Cyndi Lauper spoke about the performance on the red carpet below about solidarity among women and Janelle Monae who introduced the performance said:


"We come in peace, but we mean business".


Adele


Who has broken many records and helped changed the music industry by simply being who she is. There are no gimmicks, no flashiness, she’s never sexualised herself – it’s all about her talent as a songwriter and her amazing voice.


When you go to see her, it’s about her, her songs and her voice. Her most recent album release 30 is probably the one that has the most positive messages to date – about overcoming divorce, raising a child, anxiety and just how hard it can be sometimes. It’s her being so relatable to girls and women that is so empowering as you could see yourself sat down with her in normal surroundings just having a chat and a laugh like you do with your mates.


She was once quoted as saying:


"He has no choice, I'll have no man telling me to shave my f*ckin' legs. Shave yours."


Rihanna


Who is not only influential in music, pop culture but now in business too with her Fenty line all of which have made her a billionaire. All the way through her career she has used her platform to stand up for what she believes in. People relate to her and her unapologetic nature which can be seen in her 2015 song “B**ch better have my money.” She’s someone that has achieved so much in such a short space of time and is another great example of women forging change and women empowerment.

Check out this post from Stacker “50 Women Who Broke Barriers In The Music Industry”:



that includes other influential females like:


  • Ella Fitzgerald

  • Nina Simone

  • Billie Holiday

  • Tina Turner

  • Carol King

  • Joni Mitchell

  • Janis Joplin

  • Cher

  • Salt n Pepa

  • Lil Kim

  • Missy Elliott

  • Spice Girls (who are the definition of forging change & female empowerment)

The Spice Girls started back in 1994 but very quickly became known for their "Girl Power" slogan and conquered the world with their music and message at a time when feminism wasn't popular at all as a concept.


Recently Channel 4 did a documentary on them "Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain" which is outlined in this article from The Guardian:



Mel B was interviewed on Loose Women back in 2018 about "What Did Girl Power Mean?" and here's what she had to say:

I think everyone mentioned either in the blog post or one of the articles belong in the two categories of Women’s Empowerment and Women Forging Change and who are fighting constantly to #BreakTheBias.

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