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Activism & Action Our Voices

Malala Yousafzai on Feminism: If Not Me, Then Who?

Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai come from different walks of life but have set out on a similar path. Both are working to elevate the status of women around the world, both have spoken at the United Nations to champion their cause, and both are proud to call themselves feminists.

Watson and Yousafzai had not met before their Q&A session that opened the Into Film Festival on November 4th, a free and annual celebration of film and education for 5 to 19 year olds. Over the course of the interview the two talked about Yousafzai’s documentary, “He Named Me Malala” inspired by her story and her movement to improve female education. Watson asked the 18 year old Nobel Prize laureate questions from school aged children participating in the UK festival. Save for one question, Watson says, she decided not to ask at the last minute — but Malala answered it anyway.

“I had initially planned to ask Malala whether or not she was a feminist but then researched to see whether she had used this word to describe herself. Having seen that she hadn’t, I decided to take the question out before the day of our interview,” Watson wrote on her Facebook page.

Malala told Watson that her HeForShe speech helped trigger a change in thinking what it means to identify as a feminist :

“This word ‘feminism’, it has been a very 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? Then after hearing your speech, when you said, if not now, when? If not me, who? I decided… 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.”

“Let’s not make it scary to say you’re a feminist,” Watson concluded in her Facebook post. “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.”

Watch the I Am Malala trailer here and for more information about Watson’s HeForShe campaigna and her movement for gender equality visit her website.

Our Voices

Its Time To Redefine Entrepreneurship

It is no secret that most women face difficult barriers as entrepreneurs. Gender inequality remains and alongside pay inequality, the language and narrative around entrepreneurship is a dominantly masculine one. Even today most major business management curriculum and mainstream media narratives seem to displace our entrepreneurial heroines. We are used to honoring the superstars like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, but have you heard of Ursula Burns or Sara Kirke? If the answer is no, we are not surprised. On a whole the language of enterprise still remains skewed toward the celebration of mainly masculine traits.

In an article for the Stanford Press University Blog, Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliot, co-authors of Feminine Capital: Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs, discuss the current state of entrepreneurship and talk about the anticipated arrival of the feminist entrepreneur. Someone who’s unique experience as a woman will be powerful in creating wealth and social change. Their idea is that by leveraging this distinctly feminine capital, entrepreneurial feminists are breaking new ground in creating wealth and social change.

Read more about the idea of feminine capital and the rise of the feminist entrepreneur here.

Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliot have also recently published a new book, Feminine Capital: Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs, a read we highly, highly recommend.

Allied Arts & Media


by Anne Sexton

You always read about it:
the plumber with the twelve children
who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
From toilets to riches.
That story.

Or the nursemaid,
some luscious sweet from Denmark
who captures the oldest son’s heart.
from diapers to Dior.
That story.