While women’s issues and rights are surging to the front of the stage after years in the wings, there are still many problems women are facing in this world. These five TED Talks break down the various intersections regarding what it means to move through this world as a woman, and how women are carving their own way taking inspiring steps forward in the face of discrimination and inequality.
The speaker communicates her firsthand experience as a woman in the business world, trying to get her ideas noticed and herself credited for the efforts she made to contribute to the company. Throughout the talk, she details the various ways that gender biases affect a woman’s career, challenging the belief that closing the pay gap and giving women equal professional space can be achieved much sooner than the projected 100 year mark, including her inspiring creation of an official certification for Gender Equality in US Businesses.
Working in india, Husain has seen the impact of what it means to live and even simply be born a girl in India where they are given names like ‘angry’ and ‘a person who has arrived’ that signify a parent’s disdain for having a girl in the first place. With proven benefits of educating girls and the many ways it benefits society, Husain has created a program with the ambitious goal of educating girls all across the country, having already brought more than 92 percent of out-of-school girls she worked with back into the system. This TED Talk details her program.
Seeing for herself that there is certainly truth to the expression that “it takes a village to educate a girl”, Ntaiya used the power of education, nutrition and inside cultural knowledge to transform her community from the inside out. Her work centered around educating girls who had yet to undergo the common practice in her community known as female genital mutilation, at which point they are taken out of school and married off at a young age. By changing the minds of community members, government officials and families of these girls, Ntaiya was able to empower and educate girls, some of which grew into women who now study in universities abroad while also working to change the minds and beliefs of growing boys in the community to ensure profound social change going forward.
Sexism is a systemic issue that begets broad sweeping issues across the gender spectrum. Bates takes a look at the sexism that occurs every day at various levels, from the inequality in the British government to the violence in various countries around the world to the street harassment women experience daily. Bates created a website called “The Everyday Sexism Project,” where women were encouraged to post their stories. After receiving a higher turnout of submissions than expected, she recounts the ways that these women were able to use the stories as empowerment against the sexism they face all the time.
As a nucleic acid biochemist and a scientific-minded transgender astrophysicist, Sanbonmatsu explores what it really means to be a woman by breaking down the aspects of the brain and even the very DNA that makes a woman a woman. This insightful TED Talk explores and breaks down the intersections between transgenderism and biology, gender constructs that surround women and the processes that come with identifying with womanhood.