Every March, the world celebrates women of all kinds. We gift them, we praise them, we applaud them.
Zero Waste Shanghai is a diverse community with a substantial majority of women, and we started thinking of what was our definition of Women's Day.
Our conclusion is that celebrating women means telling their stories, admiring their achievements, and supporting their battles, instead of observing the simple fact that we are, by nature, born women.
There are so many amazing women out there that are doing an incredible job in many different fields. They fight for climate, defend our Oceans and wildlife, fight for women's rights and social development, empowering and supporting other women.
And we are proud of all of them.
So, we sat down and we picked the one we felt closer to us. The result is this shortlist that we are excited to share with you.
Diane Fossey Alizee - Zero Waste Shanghai Founder
My personal choice for inspirational woman goes to Diane Fossey for her total devotion, patience, persistence and love, to understand and protect the gorillas in Africa. She was one of the first of many women to inspire me so deeply by their devotion to a cause. Diane Fossey was an American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her 1985 murder. She spent most of her life studying the big black gorillas in Rwanda and even went so far to build her home into the jungle to be closer to them. I love her story because through patience and curiosity, she became part of the gorillas tribe and created an incredible connection with them. She also unfolded a lot of information about something we humans didn’t know much about. And that is something that I truly find so valuable and beautiful.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Federica - Content Writer
My encounter with this Nigerian writer arrived from one of the inspiring women in my life. I immediately fell in love with her writings, the direct and powerful way she talks about stereotypes, African women, masculinity vs. feminism.
Her words are always measured, never accusatory or angry.
Her language talks to everyone: women, and men of all ages, from all over the world.
Maybe her most famous work is the manifesto “We should all be feminists”, a short essay where she approaches, among others, the delicate issue of educating our sons and daughters differently in the first place.
It drastically changed my idea of feminism. For the same reason, I invite my friends, especially men, to read it. It perfectly communicates that being feminist doesn't mean rejecting femininity or hating men, storytelling that men hardly want to hear.
Ayla Nereo Eva - Marketing & Communications
I discovered Ayla Nereo by chance. I love listening to new music every day, finding out new artists. With Ayla Nereo was a different kind of discovery: just by listening to her voice, I felt an immediate connection with Nature. I searched for more about her, carefully reading her lyrics and getting how she was singing for our Planet from the deepest of her heart.
Listen to her track “Whispers” to understand why you need to have Ayla Nereo in your playlist. (You can find her music on QQ and Spotify).
Her enchanting and joyous songs allow us to feel the presence of our Mother Nature and our very own Humanness.
We need more women like Ayla, because with her soft and breathtaking voice, she is raising awareness about our disconnection with our unique Planet; a disconnection that is causing real damages to us all. Being connected with Forests and Oceans is one of the best ways to be healthy in our minds and hearts.
Stella McCartney Marina - Content Writer
In the heavily polluting landscape that is the fashion industry, a woman stepped up to change the traditional fashion industry mindset into a more sustainable and cruelty-free one: Stella McCartney. I take a lot of inspiration from this amazing woman. Stella is always fighting hard.
Since the beginning in 2001, when she founded her brand "Stella McCartney" and started her battle to protect animal rights and the environment, it inspires me how she continuously researches new sustainable and cruelty-free materials. She does not use leather or fur in all her designs showing that fashion can be luxurious without any leather or fur. Besides the animal protection battle, the brand is also monitoring the environmental impact of all their supply chain and the welfare of their workers, annually reporting their activities and progress in this area. Stella is always sensitive to all social and environmental problems and never hesitates to speak out.
Creating this amazing brand, Stella McCartney, this exceptional vegetarian woman, who also launched with her father Paul the Meat Free Monday is making an impact inside and outside the fashion industry, inspiring brands and people like me to take a brave and necessary step towards a more sustainable and fair economy.
Reese Witherspoon Sandy - Content Writer
Before the Me Too movements, a pioneering woman decided that, since most of the movie scripts were so terribly written for female characters, she would have been the one creating better roles, better scripts and better production opportunities fitting the quality and respect women deserved, not only in the movie industry, but also in real life. This woman is Reese Witherspoon and her company Hello Sunshine has been a pioneer in female-centered projects.
In one of the most powerful speeches I’ve ever watched before, Reese highlighted the fact that in many films there comes a point where the leading actress will turn around to the male character and say “ What do we do now?”. And she goes on to say that when have we ever seen a woman in crisis say that in real life? I completely agree. In all the high-pressure, critical situations, women demonstrate the most resilience and determination. I applaud Reese’s work in changing how one of the most visible industries in the world portrays women and pushing for real roles that young girls can actually look up to.
So far, she has been extending her advocacy for women’s rights, from campaigns with Elizabeth Arden to Time’s Up to closing the gender pay gap at HBO. Well done Reese!
Greta Thunberg Benji - Content Writer
To many Greta needs no further introduction. Her biggest influence on me was her relentless activism. Before, environmental activism to me was a thing for a small group of very dedicated people. I knew the gravity of the environmental crisis which we were in, but only saw ways to contribute through changing my personal behavior and influencing those around me. Greta showed me a more radical, and more effective way. By rallying millions of young people behind a mission that tolerates no nonsense, Greta has inspired me to be creative and be bold in order to maximize my impact as an environmentalist.
This list is our personal list, but we want to hear from you!!!
Who are the women that inspire you?
And what does it mean to you supporting women?
We can't wait to read your favorite story, leave a comment below to let us know what you think!