I read a quote on we heart it the other day about how a girl needed a hero, and so that's what she become. That reminded me of the much overlooked Disney movie Mulan; a story about a young woman who impersonates a man so that she can train to be part of the Chinese military, so that her ill father doesn't have to go and fight. As a child, Mulan was always one of my favourite movies, and I am so glad that there was a movie like that for me to watch as a young girl, to teach me that I didn't need a prince to fix my life and give me my happily ever after... that I could fight for it myself.
Over the years I have grown to identify myself as a feminist. This doesn't mean that I think women should rule the world, or that men are all evil, or that I think stay at home Mums are stupid. When I label myself a feminist it means that I think girls can do anything they set their minds to, with or without a man. It means that I believe women are -and should be treated as- equals to men.
Through watching numerous TED talks, I have come across some really incredible women, who have publicly shared their stories and their beliefs. These women have inspired me to share my own story, and to stand up to injustice when I see it. They have given me an insight to the inequalities and divides that I haven't always been aware of, and they have educated me in ways that my national education system has failed to.
Below is a collection of some of the most influential TED talks that I have come across. I hope that you will watch them, and feel as empowered as I did when I watched them.
Everyday sexism: Laura Bates at TEDxCoventGardenWomen
Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model - Cameron Russell
Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders
3 Lessons on Success From an Arab Businesswoman | Leila Hoteit
Khadija Gbla: My mother's strange definition of empowerment
Manal Al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who Dared to Drive
Who inspires you?