5 young women who absolutely DOMINATED this past year.

This past year was was a lot of things. The world experienced great loss, great pain and tremendous suffering, but also saw a new light at the end of the tunnel. It was, to say the least, a year of unprecedented progress. Last year, we had more minorities, rarities, and underrepresented communities recognized and empowered than ever before in mankind’s history. Our society, with the coming-of-age of the new generation, is becoming a more accepting and open one, especially when it comes to the likes of women empowerment. This period we live in has undoubtedly seen the ~Year of the Woman~ and we saw tremendous girl power take the world by storm. Of course there will always be the veterans of womanhood whose stories we all know and love, but last year showed us that age is but a number when it comes to world-domination!  

So without further ado, here are 5 girls under the age of 20, who killed the game in 2018!

1. Emma Gonzalez After a gunman infamously entered her school and wrecked havoc on the safety of hundreds of her peers and juniors, Emma Gonzalez, 19, could have chosen to let the incident scar her into a withdrawn silence. Instead, she decided to be an absolute boss lady and use her voice to affect change. From her viral speeches that took the world by storm, to her “we call B.S” slogan that changed the entire narrative on gun control, Gonzalez decided that enough was enough and has been bravely and relentlessly campaigning for a more responsible enforcement of the 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution. The young, bisexual, Cuban woman with a buzz cut is challenging all kinds of societal norms about what the face and identity of  American heroism ought to look like. Her activism and stubborn efforts to make the world a safer place for her peers are influencing real life policy change and simultaneously getting the youth more involved in modern politics. As the New Yorker aptly put it, Emma Gonzalez was very much 2018’s Joan of Arc.

2. Ahed Tamimi  ‘The experience of being arrested was really hard. This experience added value to my life, maybe it made me more mature. More conscious.’More famously known as the girl who slapped the Israeli soldiers, Ahed Tamimi is a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who spent the better part of the year in jail for having symbolically expressed her stance against the government. Although she was locked away for her resistance, Tamimi’s bravery and raw expression made her the face of the Palestinian opposition. While in prison, she studied international law and hopes to become a legal advocate against the violence of the Israelis towards her people. Even at such a tender age, Ahed does not take her circumstances as an excuse to sit back and complain about her life. She never once complained about being imprisoned and sought to seek maturity and resilience form the experience. She even acknowledges that rather than deciding to be a victim of the occupation of her homeland, she chooses to be the voice of truth and distinguish between right and wrong. This makes her a freedom fighter, and if necessary a martyr…. but never a victim.

3. Lily Madigan Madigan says not coming out almost killed her and coming out meant leaving home

Listed under teen Vogue’s 21 under 21, the 20-year-old Lily Madigan completely toppled the narrative surrounding women in politics… for it is not only her tender age and sex that makes her an outlier in a field dominated by older men, but also the fact that she is the first ever transgender person to receive an elected officer post in the Labour Party of the United Kingdom.

2018 was a tumultuous year for Madigan who has been caught in the crosshairs of a messy party dynamic regarding the issue of Trans rights. Instead of getting disillusioned with the state of affairs and giving up, Madigan used the opportunity and strife to express her opinions clearly in true millennial fashion. She regularly takes to social media to clarify her stances on important women’s and LGBTQ+ related issues in a manner that is relatable, raw and most of all engaging to other members of her age group and population. Her rare position of power as a young woman in parliament is not only a necessary symbol of change, but also one of hope to so many girls around the world today, especially those with varying sexual identities.

4. Sarah Zorn Sarah Zorn, 21, became The Citadel's first female Regimental Commander FridayA rising senior at The Citadel military college in South Carolina, Sarah Zorn will become the first ever woman Regimental commander, leading a corps of cadets. In an undergraduate school with only 9% women, and a long history of an all-male class, Zorn’s placement into this position of leadership marks a revolutionary change in the institution’s history. Her promotion makes Sarah the highest-ranking cadet in her batch.  

Zorn admits that the process to get to her spot was not easy; after all, the school became a co-ed facility only as recently as 1995. In fact the first woman they accepted into their program was so bullied and plagued by death-threats that she had to quit after just a week. Zorn is a symbol for how far the military has come since then, and represents the feminist future regarding the individuals we consider worthy and strong enough to protect our freedom. It tells young women all over the world, that they too may serve their motherland in the way their male counterparts do, and that their ability to protect the American Legacy is a right afforded to all and not just a privilege given to the few.

5. Amika George At just 18-years-old, this London based rockstar is the creator of the FreePeriods initiative which tries to ensure that every girl in the UK has access to healthy and hygienic sanitary products and attempts to alleviate the stigma surrounding menstruation. Much like the other young ladies on this list, George too has taken to social media to propagate her cause. She started an online petition page with the hashtag FreePeriods that members of the virtual community could sign and support. Coming from an Indian background, which tends to be extremely conservative about these issues, opening up about such themes was undoubtedly challenging for Amika. Yet, by talking about the biological process so openly and on such a wide platform, she is hoping to normalize the fact that menstruation is something that happens to every girl and that it is not a taboo or something that ought to be kept under wraps. Her dream is to be able to reach out to Prime Minister Theresa May using all the signatures from her petitions, so that real legislation may be passed that allows the free distribution of menstrual hygiene products to end period poverty in the UK. George wants us to realize that such problems of inequity are not just prevalent in developing nations, but even rich and educated one’s like the UK.

 

Sources:

(https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/i...)

(https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-passion-of-emma-g...) (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/30/ahed-tamimi-i-am-a-freedom...)

(https://www.vox.com/2018/8/3/17639254/ahed-tamimi-palestinian-activist-i...) (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/lily-madigan-labour-party...) (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5695013/College-junior-21-makes...)

(https://www.postandcourier.com/news/a-triple-black-belt-from-a-small-tow...)

(https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/amika-george-period-poverty)

(https://people.com/human-interest/amika-george-end-period-poverty-goalke...)