Discover more from The Female Lead
Our Society Ambassadors
To effect real change in society we need people who take action. We’ve put together a list of inspirational women who are trailblazers and activists, women who are dedicating their lives to changing things for women. We encourage you to check them out and follow what they achieve with interest.
We’ve carefully curated the best voices for you to follow.
Hajra Khan is the Former Captain of Pakistan National Women’s Football Team and has been playing football competitively in Pakistan and abroad since she was 14. She’s the first Pakistani player to be signed by a foreign club team and currently is also the top scorer for the country. She is a three-time Guinness World Record Holder, a Mental Health Ambassador for British Asian Trust and a UNICEF Pakistan MH Champion.
Hajra is an Asian Football Confederation and FC Barcelona certified coach and founded Fortis Sports Academy that uses Sports For Development to empower and provide elite training & competitive opportunities to youth all across Pakistan.
She is an advocate for Mental Health for Athletes, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Sports, which she spoke about in her TED Talks. She is a Member of the Prime Minister’s Pakistan National Youth Council developing policies with a focus on Mainstreaming Marginalized Youth, and listed in the Malala Fund Top-18 Game Changers amongst other accolades. She has also competed for the Pakistan National Women’s Basketball Team as well as Pakistan Beach Netball Team.
Joeli Brearley is the founder of the charity, Pregnant Then Screwed which she established in 2015 after her own experience of pregnancy discrimination. Her organisation is rewriting the narrative for mothers in the UK, whilst working to end the motherhood penalty. In 2022 Pregnant Then Screwed supported over 60,000 women with free advice and helped secure £1.3 million in settlement agreements for mothers who had experienced discrimination.
Gabby Jahanshahi-Edlin is an award-winning social entrepreneur and creative consultant specialising in social and cultural change. In 2016 she founded the groundbreaking menstrual equity charity, Bloody Good Period, and held the role of CEO before stepping down in 2022.
Yasmin Benoit is a British model, multi-award-winning asexual activist, writer, speaker and researcher. She launched the UK's first asexual rights initiative in partnership with Stonewall, co-founded International Asexuality Day and started the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike social media movement.
Eliza Hatch is a 28-year-old photographer, activist, speaker, founder of Cheer Up Luv and one half of Hysterical Collective. In 2017 Eliza founded Cheer Up Luv, a photo series dedicated to retelling accounts of street harassment. Eliza founded the campaign after being told to "cheer up" by a stranger in the street. After her male friends dismissed the experience as a “compliment", she felt inspired to prove them wrong. Eliza began taking portraits of her friends in public places and posting the photos online, with each location reflecting the testimony of harassment, the effect was empowering survivors by turning a negative memory into something positive. Eliza's work branches into workshops, exhibitions, lectures and has led her to working with global organisations, such as The United Nations, Apple and TEDx. The Cheer Up Luv series has been featured by The BBC, The Guardian, i-D, Dazed to name a few, and in 2019 won the Webby for Best Individual Editorial Feature with 'Don't Look Away', a joint campaign with the UNFPA. Eliza has been invited to speak at Nicer Tuesdays, Today At Apple, TEDx, The University of Cambridge, Kings College, Forbes Ignite, Girl Rising, UN Women and is an online tutor at the University of Falmouth teaching Visual Communication.
Aileen Barratt is a writer, feminist and funny person based in Manchester. Her page tindertranslators has created a community for women who are tired of misogyny in the dating world and beyond. She is also the co-host of the Manosphere: Debunked podcast. Aileen’s book, Tinder Translator: An A-Z of Modern Misogyny, is out now.
(Credit: Luke Nugent)
Blair Imani is the creator of the viral web series, Smarter In Seconds, co-founder and Head of Education at FEMINIST, and Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Read This to Get Smarter. Her scholarship spans intersectionality, gender studies, race and racism, sociology, and United States history.
Tova Leigh is a best selling author, performer and digital creator with a global following of over 2 million people. Born in Israel where she practiced law before moving to the UK to pursue a career in acting. Her candid blog about motherhood and womanhood ‘My Thoughts About Stuff’ made her an internet sensation. She regularly used her platform to promote positive body image and advocates for gender equality, and she is a content contributor to several charities. Currently she is running female empowerment retreats in Portugal and is planning a European tour with her one woman comedy show in 2024.
Chloe Laws is a writer, poet and journalist. She is the founder of feminist platform FGRLS CLUB, and is a Contributing Editor for GLAMOUR. She has written for the likes of Vice, The Independent, Vogue, Refinery29 and many more. Her poetry, which often speaks to womanhood, and discusses misogyny, is popular on social media.
Illustrator and visual activist - Aurélia Durand's art is a vivid celebration of diversity. She dedicates her artistic voice to matters involving representation. Aurélia represents Afro-descendants as joyful, proud, and empowered — a united community whose destinies are intertwined. These colourful personalities present the unified voice of a global community whose hopes, dreams, and desires envision an inclusive future for all. Aurélia Durand has been published in The New Yorker, worked with massive brands, and illustrated the #1 New York Times Bestseller This Book Is Anti-Racist, so she knows a thing or two about honing her craft, challenging herself, and making dreams come true.
Floli & Emma
Florence-Olivia, a Law PhD candidate focusing on sexual violence (Durham University) and Marie-Emmanuelle, a Law PhD candidate focusing on intimate partner violence (Queen's University), are internationally renowned researchers and speakers in the field of prevention and intervention in various forms of gender-based violence.In 2020, they founded The Sis Official (400K+ followers), a feminist educational platform on which they democratize their research and make it accessible to people from around the world. They are also the creators that popularized the Signal for Help, which is now known by billions of people all over the world. They have worked with many organizations such as UN Women, The Canadian Women Foundation, Plan International, and more.
Grace Blakeley is an English economics and politics commentator, columnist, journalist, and author. She is the staff writer for Tribune magazine and was previously the economics commentator of the New Statesman. She is also a regular contributor to Novara Media. Her first book, Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation was published in 2019 by Repeater Books and her second book, The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic Will Change Capitalism was published in October 2020. She is currently writing her next book, which will be published by Bloomsbury in 2024. Grace is a prominent voice in the UK media and features frequently on both radio and TV. She is also an incredibly experienced public speaker, speaking at many conferences, panels and roundtable across the globe on issues related to economics and politics.
Leah was adopted by a lesbian single-parent and is (shockingly) an outspoken feminist who uses her social media platforms to both educate and empower. She believes that self-love goes hand-in-hand with activism and often motivates her followers to incorporate sustainable + ethical practices, spread kindness, and strive to create an equitable society.
Picture credit: Hanna Keil
Kuchenga is a writer, journalist, and speaker with works on many media platforms including Gal-Dem, British Vogue and Netflix. She has contributed short stories and essays to several anthologies, most notably IT'S NOT OK TO FEEL BLUE (AND OTHER LIES), WHO’S LOVING YOU and LOUD BLACK GIRLS.
Owing to a lifelong obsession with books and the written word, Kuchenga studied Creative Writing at The Open University. Her work is very much focused on the perils of loving, being loved and women living out loud throughout the ages. Right now, she is working on her first novel, which is the ultimate marriage of her passions for history, mystery and rebels.
She currently resides in Manchester, where she is determined to continue living a life worth writing about.
Tracie Léost is an award-winning young Métis leader, activist and athlete from St. Laurent, Manitoba, in Treaty 1 Territory. Her strong commitment to contributing to social justice is evidenced by the philanthropic and awareness initiatives she has spearheaded. In 2015 she ran 115km in 4 days to raise money and awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People. Gaining international attention for advocacy efforts, in 2018 Tracie received the Metis Youth Indspire Award, the highest honour bestowed upon the Indigenous community. In 2020 she was inducted into the Order of Gabriel Dumont Bronze Medal, the Metis Nations highest civilian honour. Named one of the University of Regina’s most promising undergraduate students; in 2020, she founded Waanishka Movement Inc., a non-profit organization that supports Indigenous youth to rise.
She has worked with the Malala Foundation raising awareness for violence against Indigenous women. Most recently, Tracie received one of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 Awards and was named one of Canada’s most decorated Indigenous young people. Tracie upholds her responsibilities as an emerging matriarch by serving her people and ensuring that all Indigenous youth have opportunities to grow and flourish.
Betelhem Dessie, Ethiopia's renowned youth technology education entrepreneur, has captured international attention in the country's emerging tech scene. Recognized by CNN and BBC as a young pioneer, and featured on Quartz's list of African innovators to watch, Betelhem's journey showcases her curiosity of technology and its transformative power.
Born and raised in Harar, Ethiopia, Betelhem's fascination with computers ignited at the age of 9. By 10, she embarked on her coding journey, continuing to learn multiple facets of computer science and robotics by her mid-teens. Partnering with iCog Labs, Ethiopia's first AI and robotics lab, she spearheaded the iCog Anyone Can Code (iCog-ACC) initiative, driven by her vision to provide children in the developing world with equal opportunities she had as a youngster.
Betelhem currently serves as the Chief Advisor at iCog Labs and CEO of iCog Anyone Can Code, a subsidiary of iCog Labs. Under Betelhem's leadership, iCog-ACC has empowered over 26,000 students to take their first strides in coding, unlocking a boundless realm of possibilities. Along with that she works on research projects that tackle pressing challenges in Agriculture, Healthcare, and Education such as leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence to provide farmers with optimized fertilizer suggestions based on satellite data, as well as analyzing social media data to enhance communication on sexual reproductive health among the youth.
Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper, human rights activist, and Rhodes Scholar, working to end child marriage. With a poet’s soul and an activist’s passion, she uses rap and courage to stand up for women’s and girls’ rights.
Dr Fatumina is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker and period educator originally trained as an Engineering Scientist. Today Fatumina is also a highly qualified success coach specialising in leadership development programs for women. In early 2023, she founded Yesfromme (@yesfromme.ltd) - a consultancy that runs skill workshops for women to develop a winner mindset and the strategy to reach their goals in all areas of life. Her commitment to increase the female talent pipeline in male-dominated areas has led her to be recognised for prestigious awards, including the WISE Rising Star Award conferred by the Princess Royal, the New Outstanding Stem Inspiration Award, and the Financial Time’s Top Influential Woman in Engineering.
She is also the Founder of Women AgainstStalking (@womenagainststalking), an organisation that campaigns for systemic change and provides female victims of stalking with practical resources to stand up for themselves.
More recently, Fatumina appeared in ‘Barbie the Movie’ which has reportedly become the second highest-grossing film in Warner Bros.”
Hajra Khan is the Former Captain of Pakistan National Women’s Football Team and has been playing football competitively in Pakistan and abroad since she was 14. She’s the first Pakistani player to be signed by a foreign club team and currently is also the top scorer for the country. She is a three-time Guinness World Record Holder, a Mental Health Ambassador for British Asian Trust and a UNICEF Pakistan MH Champion. Hajra is an Asian Football Confederation and FC Barcelona certified coach and founded Fortis Sports Academy that uses Sports For Development to empower and provide elite training & competitive opportunities to youth all across Pakistan. She is an advocate for Mental Health for Athletes, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Sports, which she spoke about in her TED Talks. She is a Member of Prime Minister’s Pakistan National Youth Council developing policies with a focus on Mainstreaming Marginalized Youth, and listed in the Malala Fund Top-18 Game Changers amongst other accolades. She has also competed for the Pakistan National Women’s Basketball Team as well as Pakistan Beach Netball Team.
Becca Rea-Tucker is a baker and pro-abortion activist with a passion for mixing sugar & strong opinions. She likes using baked goods as an artistic medium, destigmatizing abortion, talking about feelings, and all butter pie crust. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband Rhys and very good/bad dog Otie.
Paola Mendoza is a Latinx artist, film director, author, and cultural organizer whose storytelling takes many forms. Paola uses art to disrupt and disarm, to change our thinking and to advance movements for immigrants, women, and reproductive justice. Her bestselling YA book, Sanctuary, was released to critical acclaim. She is currently writing the sequel to Sanctuary, entitled SOLIS, which will be published next year. Paola is also a co-founder of The Women’s March and served as its Artistic Director.
Kiara Nirghin is an award-winning Stanford-educated technologist, bestselling author, and sustainability advocate. Hailing from South Africa, Nirghin gained international recognition at the age of 16 when she won the Grand Prize at the prestigious Google Science Fair in 2016. Since then, Kiara co-founded her company, Chima, with her sister Nikhara Nirghin. Chima is a San Francisco based leading tech company focused on helping the world’s most important institutions customize and scale their generative AI responsibly, sustainably, and effectively. As Chief Technology Officer, her company is backed by the most notable Venture Capital investors in Silicon Valley. Nirghin also published her first book with Penguin Random House in 2019, Youth Revolution: #BeTheChange and has been a guest contributor to The Economist and Teen Vogue. Kiara regularly advocates through organisations like the UN Women, UNESCO and as the youngest member of Googles Impact Fund. She has been recognised by TIME Magazine and The Guardian on their Most Influential Teens lists, Glamour magazine’s College Women of the Year, one of the InspiringFifty’s Women in Technology, and a Forbes Africa Generation Disrupter.
Mónica Ramírez is an attorney, author, and activist fighting for the rights of farmworkers, migrant women workers, and the Latine(x) community. She is the founder of Justice for Migrant Women and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, The Latinx House, and Poderistas.
Mónica has received numerous awards, including Harvard Kennedy School’s first Gender Equity Changemaker Award, Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award, the Smithsonian’s 2018 Ingenuity Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award. Mónica was named to Forbes Mexico’s 100 Most Powerful Women’s 2018 list, TIME Magazine included her in its 2021 TIME100 Next list and People en Español recognized her as one of the 100 Most Powerful Latinos in 2021.
Mónica is also an inaugural member of the Ford Global Fellowship. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center, Friends of the Latino Museum, Care in Action and she is a member of The Little Market’s Activists Committee.
Mónica is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law and Harvard Kennedy School. She lives in Ohio with her husband and son.
Ali Strick, a psychotherapist and passionate mental health advocate, founded the empowering Arts Sisterhood community for creative women in London. With nearly a decade devoted to facilitating transformative creative workshops and courses, Ali has centred her efforts on harnessing the therapeutic potential of the arts and shared growth through community. Arts Sisterhood stands as a sanctuary that utilises art as a catalyst for bolstering mental health, fostering personal growth, and igniting empowerment amongst women. Through her nurturing guidance, she has supported over 10,000 individuals on a journey of self-discovery, helping them uncover their creative potential. Her distinctive expertise goes beyond improving creative skills; it extends to fostering a deeper sense of self-awareness and connection to others.
Essie Dennis is a writer, artist and LGBTQ+ content creator. The topics of her writing include: queer social and political issues, sapphic relationships, body positivity, and endometriosis awareness. Her debut non-fiction book QUEER BODY POWER was published in 2022.