Activist and Founder of Free Periods
Our final Wonder Woman is the incredible Amika George, the 19-year-old founder of #FreePeriods. After learning that girls in the UK were missing school because they could not afford sanitary products Amika started #FreePeriods in April 2017 with one mission: to tackle the taboos around menstruation and end period poverty by supplying disadvantaged girls and women with access to free sanitary products. Amika has already rallied a 165,000-strong petition and thousands to peacefully protest throughout the UK to put pressure on the government to support this vital cause, and her work continues to challenge the anxiety and shame associated with periods. All this alongside A-Levels?! If that doesn't make a Wonder Woman, we don't know what does…
Who in your life has inspired you to be the woman you are today and what superpowers does she have that helped to shape and inspire you?
My great grandma is the person who’s inspired me the most. She grew up in India, and always questioned why her two brothers could be academics and have flourishing careers whereas the only expectation placed on her was that she would marry and have children. She decided that wasn’t enough for her and, when she was in her mid-thirties and a mother of two children, decided to fly to the US for two years to do a Masters. She’d never been on a plane before and had never been anywhere alone. She returned fulfilled, her mind broadened and reinvigorated, and went on to be a successful journalist in India writing about women’s issues.
She taught me how important it is to look out for other women, to stand up and use your voice, in even the smallest way, to make things better for other people. She was a force. She had an energy about her which was almost tangible. She always encouraged me to push myself a little further every day, to not shy away from having a go at anything and to never be afraid of falling flat on my face.
How would you hope to inspire women and evoke positive change?
I’d be really happy to think that starting #FreePeriods has made other women become aware of period poverty as an issue that’s affecting women and girls from being the best they can be. It would be amazing if women started fighting for things that matter to them and not being scared to disrupt conventions.
What do you hope for women now and in the future?
I hope to see a world where more women are leading companies and countries and shaping a more female-centric landscape where our needs are met. I want to see a world where there is no period poverty and where girls are not limited in their education just because she menstruates, where she can go to school without the stress and anxiety of not knowing where her next pad will come from, and a world where periods are no longer shrouded in shame and embarrassment.
Find out how you can support #FreePeriods here.
Follow Amika here.
Image credit Sister Magazine