What Do Young Feminists Want for the Future?

Read 15-year-old student Maryam Naasir's letter about how we can make the world a better place

By WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Meet Maryam Naasir

In 2019, more than 800 school children attended the WOW Festival in London to explore the state of gender equality. Maryam Naasir, from Mulberry School for Girls, was one of the highlights of the festival – reading a letter reflecting on her hopes for the future for young women.

Sadiq Khan at WOW Festival (2019-03-08) by Alice BoageyWOW - Women of the World Foundation

Read Maryam's letter

When I consider the issues facing young women today, I think we should focus on girls in less economically developed countries, where many women aren’t given the chance to access education and health services, as well as girls in our own country, some of whom struggle to attend school due to period poverty. 

Mulberry School for Girls at WOW (2019-03-08) by Alice BoageyWOW - Women of the World Foundation

Across the world millions of girls don’t have access to a complete education, which affects their career opportunities, self-esteem, life-skills and participation in public life. To make the world a better place, we need to work individually, locally and globally. 

Duchess of Cornwall visits Mulberry School for Girls (2019-11-01)WOW - Women of the World Foundation

On an individual level, parents have a responsibility to raise their children without pressures or preconceptions about their gender, being mindful not to tell their sons to ‘man up’ or their daughters to be ‘ladylike’.

WOWsers performingWOW - Women of the World Foundation

I also feel it’s important to raise awareness of the struggles that girls face in our society and I do this at my school through programmes like Partnership of Equals, where we brought together hundreds young people from schools across the UK to explore gender equality in the arts. I believe that even more change can happen when we support each other; we will be able to influence more women to gain leadership roles, as a global community of ‘women of the world’. 

Art at Mulberry School for Girls (2019-11-01)WOW - Women of the World Foundation

In the future I hope women will have easier access to things they have been denied, such as the opportunity to go into male dominated jobs like STEM and the right to proper treatment for their health issues, which for too long have not been taken as seriously as men’s.

WOW Day of the Girl at the London Eye (2019-10-11) by Ellie KurttzWOW - Women of the World Foundation

In addition I hope that women’s choices in life, such as whether to stay at home to look after children or to go out to work, won’t be judged as harshly they are now. The path to a better future for women has not been easy, but if we all work together we can one day have a future where everyone is equal.

WOW Day of the Girl at the London Eye (2019-10-11) by Ellie KurttzWOW - Women of the World Foundation

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