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Get Lippy

23:32 Posted by Alison
Jane Goodall 

Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace

 Gertrude Belle Elion

 Stephanie Louise Kwolek

Do the names above ring any bells? If you answered no, you're probably not alone in your unfamiliarity... 

To save you Googling:

Jane Goodall - a primatologist who discovered that chimpanzees could construct and utilize tools, debunking the theory that only humans were intelligent enough to fashion such implements.

Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace - the writer of what is considered by many to be the first computer programme (in 1843), which included mentions of operations, cycles and fixed variables as well as references to 'if' statements.

Gertrude Belle Elion - a chemist who (amongst other discoveries) invented the first cure for leukaemia, the first immuno-suppressant used after organ transplants and whose work led to the development of AIDS drug AZT.

Stephanie Louise Kwolek - a chemist whose work with polymers led to her inventing Kevlar (most famously used to manufacture bullet proof vests).

In case you hadn't noticed, the pioneers above were/are all women. Science is just one of the fields in which women have had to fight to have their efforts recognised and their voices heard over the past century. In the UK, women gained the right to vote less than 100 years ago, but thankfully (with continued efforts) gender equality seems to be creeping ever closer to being a reality. However, in developing countries, many women still struggle to speak up, claim their rights and improve their lives.

March 8th 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day*, an annual event which celebrates the actions of over 1.1 million people across Europe who marched as part of the campaign to award women the right to vote, work and hold public office back in 1911.

In the same spirit, ActionAid has teamed up with world renowned photographer Rankin and six high profile British women to mark the occasion, creating a series of portraits that encourage the public to show confidence, 'get lippy' and vocalise their support for those still battling to overcome prejudice and inequality.

Accompanying the portraits are written and video messages of support from each famous face, designed to draw attention to and challenge the hurdles that women living in poverty confront every day.

"I have travelled in all kinds of countries so I know some of the terrible disadvantages women have been struggling under and continue to struggle under all across the world," explains Joanna Lumley, whose shot sees her confidently gazing at the camera in trademark fashion.  "I want them to know that we are going to help, we are there for you."

Unfortunately, the words of a handful of celebrities can only do so much to raise awareness and help fight the injustices playing out across the globe. You can do your bit by visiting; send a message, take a stand and help to make a difference.

If you're still not convinced, here are some sobering statistics which show just how much the world and its attitudes still need to change:
  • An estimated 5,000 women worldwide are murdered each year in ‘honour killings’.
  • One in three women will experience violence at some point in their lives and in Afghanistan, a staggering 80 per cent of women are victims of domestic violence.
  • Over 2/3 of the world's population who are living in extreme poverty are women.
  • Women make up between 70 and 80 per cent of the world's illiterate and refugee populations. In some countries, women continue to be denied education (as well as ownership rights of money and possessions).
  • Nearly half of all sexual assaults worldwide are carried out against girls under the age of 15.

*In some countries (including China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria), IWD is a national holiday.

ActionAid is a partnership between people in rich and poor countries dedicated to ending poverty and injustice. The charity works with local people to fight hunger and disease, seek justice and education for women, hold companies and governments accountable and cope with emergencies in over 40 countries. They want a world without poverty, where nobody goes to bed hungry.

Registered charity no 274467

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2 Response to "Get Lippy"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    I guess you will want to get a twitter button to your website. I just marked down this article, however I must do this manually. Just my suggestion.

    Posted on 31 March 2011 at 14:49

  2. Milly Said,

    I love your blog, I’m following!

    Would love you to enter my CHANEL giveaway;


    Posted on 20 June 2011 at 17:21


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