If you haven’t seen this Instagram or checked out their website you need to do so immediately! They have given me so much insight into myself and how I look at other women as well as education on successful and intelligent women of history and today. One of my favorite parts of their website is the history section, surprise surprise.
There is always something new and exciting to learn or broaden your horizons on this website and I got to interview one of their very first contributors, Annie Akkam. She is intelligent, open, honest, and a real inspiration! read the interview and then go check out their IG and website! You won’t regret it!
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and the other people behind Women’s? I am Annie Akkam, an Armenian who was born and raised in UAE. I joined Women’s in late 2017 since the very beginning of the project and soon became the Director of Communication. We have contributors from all over the world: India, Armenia, Portugal, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Nigeria, USA, etc. We’re an international team from different backgrounds but share a mutual goal.
- Can you tell me about Women’s?
As a journalism major, I, along with my friends, thought of creating a website where people can find every possible answer to all questions related to women. We wanted to create a platform where we can talk about women’s social and political statuses, challenges, struggles and turn them into a positive outcome. Basically, our main goal was to come up with a website where these topics are discussed and utilized to empower women all over the world.
- What prompted the beginning of the website? When did the website go live and how has it grown since then?
Because we share the same ideas, thoughts, and opinions on women’s rights, we aimed to create a platform where all aspects of a woman’s life are discussed. There are many NGOs, initiatives that are involved with women’s issues, but they are mostly focused on a certain field. We wanted to combine women’s health, lifestyle, literature, education, business all into one and offer them to women everywhere. We launched Women’s at the end of October 2017 and we have rapidly grown since then. We weren’t expecting to see such hasty growth. We received messages from everywhere. Girls all over the world wanted to write for us and share their stories. Everyone had a lot to say. We are lucky to have a dynamic and a diverse team of writers contributing to Women’s.
- What is Women’s goals for the next year? The next three years?
We weren’t prepared to witness such positive feedback in a short time, it didn’t even cross our mind that Women’s would become this successful. Now that we are growing faster than ever, we want to have contributors from everywhere. As bold and daring as it sounds, we want to cover women’s issues in every country. We don’t want to stick to just Canada, India, Russia, the Middle East, we want actual victims and survivors of discrimination to tell us their side of the story in their country. Our main goal is to turn Women’s into a global movement. The aim is to encourage women to speak up and take actions. We offer all women a platform to share their experiences and make their voices heard. We plan to create an online forum and discussion boards where we can all discuss issues, share opinions and tips, give advice to others, and overall to reach out to each other. It’ll be similar to Reddit and Quora, but it will be an all-female online forum. We plan on creating an app as well in the future, but it is early to open up details.
- What do you feel is the biggest accomplishment of Women’s so far?
What can be a bigger accomplishment for an online media other than the audience! We are proud to have readers from more than 170 countries. We’ve received messages from readers telling us how our content has helped them. They’ve told us their stories and were happy to know they’re not alone. Seeing that Women’s is making a change in our readers, even if it’s just 1 reader, we feel like we have accomplished our goal. It’s not about just views and numbers, we want to touch people’s soul.
- What does it mean to you to be an activist?
Being an activist isn’t just saying chants and shouting slogans and mottos, it’s doing something. The word “activist” means “a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change”, basically, to take action. Even the smallest step you take is important. I believe that everyone is an activist at heart, but we need more than just talking and discussing. We have to make a move.
- What personal experiences drew the people behind Women’s to being a feminist and activist?
I grew up in a Middle Eastern country and then moved to a Post-Soviet country. If that doesn’t scream “sexism” then I don’t know what does! I spent my childhood among people who were repeatedly discriminated and sadly, most of them were okay with it because they believed that’s how things were. Armenia sounded better than UAE in terms of gender equality. But, unfortunately, the Soviet mentality isn’t the greatest either. Women are expected to marry early and have kids in order to establish their status in society. This is slowly changing. Armenia isn’t necessarily a feminist country, we still have a long way to go, but the fact is that other countries face a lot more difficulties than us.
- What kind of feminist do you consider the people behind Women’s? (I.E. radical, intersectional, liberal, socialist)
90% of our team consists of liberal feminists. We do not have restrictions or limitations, all feminists are feminists, and all are welcome.
- What is the biggest focus of Women’s?
Our motto is “empowering women worldwide” and it is our biggest focus. Women are half of the world’s population, and we must make use of every woman on Earth to show that we can and we will. All we need is a little push and a little bit of empowerment.
- If there was one feminist or activist resource that you wish everyone would read or view what would it be?
It’s difficult to name one feminist resource. We have articles about feminist books and movies and we consider them all to be our resources. Since our team is big, I will mention my personal choices. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath has been one of my biggest feminist resources, the documentary “Seeing Allred” is another one that made me even prouder to be a feminist. I urge all to sit down and watch it.
- Is there anyone or any group of people who inspire you or prods you to action?
Hands down Emma Watson! By the way, interviewing Emma is one of the things we plan on doing. She is an overall great person and a huge source of inspiration. The fact that she is young and has already achieved so much makes me want to become more like her. She makes me be my best self. The Harry Potter movies were my childhood, and Hermione was and still is my hero. I feel like we both have a lot in common. In another life, we would definitely be bffs and start our own book club.
- If you could change one thing about this world what would it be?
I can write a 5000-word essay on what I would change, but because I personally love and appreciate diversity, I would want the world to simply be tolerant.