Meet the teenagers who started the Daily Feminist and their school’s first feminist club

The Daily Feminist is an organization created by Aishwarya Heran, Adelaide Ellerbeck, and Julia Kyi, three Canadian high school students who started workshops to teach young students about the importance of feminism. From there they expanded their efforts, now running a Girls Learn International Chapter in their high school.

Aishwarya Heran (left), Adelaide Ellerbeck (middle), and Julia Kyi (right) posing for a group photo at their school, Prince of Wales Mini School in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo credit: Samuel Kravchenko)

 

We started our group, The Daily Feminist, because of the confusion and misconceptions surrounding feminism. Many people don’t support feminism because they don’t know what it truly means, and young students often aren’t educated on the topic either. We think that by reaching young people, we can create a ripple effect within our community and beyond. Starting a club or group to address today’s issues is a great way to take action.

Here are some of our top tips for starting up feminism clubs (or the Female Lead Society) in schools:

  • Be passionate about feminism and commit to making change

  • Have a plan on what you hope to bring to you community (ie. topics you would like to cover, background research on feminism, projects you’d like to do, etc.). The Female Lead provides free resources for this (contact info@thefemalelead.com)

  • Get the support of school staff to sponsor and help your club

  • Set specific and reasonable goals

  • Market and advertise to gain members in your school (use posters, social media, school bulletins, etc.)

To us, feminism simply means supporting equal rights for everyone. Feminism aims to uplift women towards equality and should strive to be intersectional. Intersectional feminism is feminism that acknowledges the overlap of various forms of oppression (ie. ableism, sexism, homophobia). A black woman, an LGBT2Q+ woman, and a white woman all need feminism, but they all experience life and discrimination differently. Intersectional feminism acknowledges our differences and creates an inclusive space for all.

Feminism is still necessary today, as the gender gap is still prominent and has to be addressed. No country in the world has achieved gender equality, and even large, first-world countries, such as the US and Canada, only rank 53rd and 19th in the world.

In 2018, white Canadian women on average made $4.14 less per hour than men, which is only a slight improvement from the wage gap in 1918. Today, women who are Indigenous, POC or disabled make even less, which only widens the pay gap. Sexual harassment is also a large issue, and many workplaces and public spaces continue to be unsafe for women.

Feminism has moved into the internet era in recent years, and movements such as #Times up and #MeToo have highlighted the discrimination women still face on a daily basis. Feminism works towards creating safe communities for all and treating everyone with respect. In order to create the feminist future we wish to see, we need comprehensive education that combats sexism. Feminism is not exclusive to women, you don’t need to dress, act, or identify a specific way to be a part of the movement. Feminism is for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or any external factors. We have worked to empower young feminists in our community, and we encourage you to do the same.

Here are our tips to go forward in your neighbourhood and make meaningful change!

Tips for how to achieve a feminist community:

  • Find your passion for feminism and gender equity

  • Research for more in-depth information regarding feminism

  • Raise awareness in your community and inform those around you

  • Be respectful of others opinions, as they will be different from yours

 

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