Amada, b.1994, Spain.
“I was raised by a family of really strong women that taught me to be independent, to choose to be with a man because I want to, not because I need to, but also to feel completely and satisfied with my life, by myself. I feel lucky to have always lived in places where a significant part of the community defends equality between women and men.”
Clare, b.1977, Kenya.
“Being a woman back home is completely different to being a woman here in the UK. I feel like the system has let me down sometimes. They say that when you’ve had children, you’re allowed flexible working, which didn’t happen for me. When I had my first child, I had to quit my job, I was ready to go back to work but I had to go back full time with no flexibility, so I had to leave. The same happened with my second child. They just do what suits them.”
Clover, b.1998, UK.
“My gender is a huge part of my identity, but I try not to let it define my skillset or limit who I can be. I feel that each individual has just as much worth as anyone else, regardless of their gender, and that, as a woman, I can achieve whatever I want with the right mindset.”
Cristina, b.1995, Italy.
“My identity as a woman has been shaped by all of the women I have encountered in my life. I have always thrived to be independent and to have my own opinions. Consequently, I have had to fight against men telling me how to do things, just because of my gender.”
Elena, b.1994, Spain.
“You would very rarely hear someone randomly telling you how smart, hard working or strong you are, but pretty much everyone thinks they are entitled to tell you how pretty you look or how much weight you have lost.”
Eva, b.1974, Belgium.
“Whenever I’ve pulled something o that men would get a response of awe and respect for, I get a patronising pat on the head, saying ‘well done you!’. It’s rather pathetic and unfortunately comes from women as much as men.”
Georgia, b.1995, USA.
“As a woman, no matter what you’re doing or no matter what your purpose is on that day – you could be judged for any aspect of who you are by a complete stranger with no knowledge of who you are. I don’t wanna always think about myself and my body and how I’m looking because I’m usually just trying to live my life.”
Jennifer, b.1998, UK.
“I am a woman, but one from an action lm or comedy. Things happen and I do things, on the scale of a theatre. Everyone is scared of seeming fake, so they act the opposite of that, but there is a reason why we all need to run o to a screen everyday.”
Josie, b.1934, UK.
“I’m 84, I do not really like today’s attitude, I don’t like what they write in the papers. I think they’re missing the point of real life. I want real life, especially for young people.”
Lea, b.1997, Portugal.
“I am very proud to be a part of this new generation of people that are rethinking society patterns. I am happy to be a woman and especially a woman in this society.”
Maaha, b.1996, Somalia.
“In a generation of empowerment I have embraced my gender as being something so powerful and beautiful and honestly I wouldn’t change that for anything. We need to embrace our beauty and fight for other women around the world who are not fortunate enough to live freely.”
Maisie, b.1996, UK.
“As a woman in the skinhead community, I feel great. There is a stereotype around the skinhead culture and I feel that more when I’m in public around people that don’t know or understand me as a person. Nearly every time I get on the tube now, someone takes a picture of me. There is just no respect. Men don’t take pictures, they just stare.”
Martina, b.1997, Bulgaria.
“I moved to London from Bulgaria when I was 17, I have been here for 2 and a half years. As a woman, I feel much stronger in London than as a woman back home. People at home think the men are the head of the house and the women are just there for the children. I hate it, honestly. I feel much better here in London.”
Mary, b.1970, Kenya.
“First and foremost in this country, I look at myself as a woman. I’ve come across people who first look at themselves as black. I look at myself firstly as a woman. I then look at myself as a black woman. So I am a woman, then I am black and then everything else follows. I don’t use my ethnicity first, I use my gender, I am very gender oriented. I am aware of things like power distribution. Those things that women cannot access just because they are women. I work in a very female dominated industry, I am a social worker and I do feel empowered because I had an education, I have a masters degree and I am using that to encourage other people.”
Rhiane, b.1996, UK.
“I definitely feel like I have more of a voice but that doesn’t mean I’m always heard. I might be able to get a high ranking professional job but I guarantee I’ll hear someone questioning how I got that job and they won’t think it’s because I might actually be the right person for it.”
Roz, b.1965, UK.
“As an older woman I look back on my younger self and smile fondly at her. She was an obstinate and passionate creature, prone to drama and susceptible to the judgement of men. A typical electra girl, my father had meant everything to me. It took me a long time to grow out of the latter. I lost my parents relatively early and finding enough love in myself to become a mother was tough. But I did it. I’m still doing it, and my son and I are doing just fine. So to be asked ‘how do I feel to be a woman?’, one day I hope to look back at myself now and conclude ‘well done girl, you surprised yourself’.”
Sally, b.1963, UK.
“I don’t think that my upbringing has had much effect on the way I am. Maybe I am a product of my upbringing but as a rebellion against it.”
Saudah, b.1997, UK.
“As a Muslim woman, you have to be such a good representative of your community. Even if you’re having a bad day and you don’t want to talk to or see anyone, I think I can’t look angry, because there is already a stereotype of angry Muslim women.”
Sereena, b.1984, UK.
“I have never really thought about my gender all that much. I can tell you what it’s like just to be a human being in London and what that feels like. I love that you just have so many different people. This is why Brexit is so hard for me to digest because I love the fact that you could literally meet 100 different nationalities and create these relationships where you have insights into their world and they have an insight into your world, all those wonderful relationships that come through migration and immigration, that is what I love about being in London. There is always a bittersweet to things, that’s the only positive thing to come out of colonisation, that people, like my ancestors, were able to come from the former colonies and make this city their home.”
Zarina, b.1995, Malaysia.
“I’m starting to acknowledge my experience as a woman and where that sits within society. I’m a rm believer that we can do anything we set our minds to but I’m also starting to realise that it doesn’t mean we should be expected to do everything. As women have expanded their position in the workplace, they’re still expected to be the primary carers and to run a household, it’s exhausting to have all those expectations. I’m learning to ask and expect help as well as give it. It’s all about balance.”