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A lookback at amazing women we've interviewed

Words by Cheyanne Bryan

For this International Women’s Day we want to take a trip down memory lane to look back at 8 women we’ve interviewed this past year. Giving them extra accolades towards their collective achievements towards positive change.

Whether their contributions to society have been solely focused on the empowerment of women or not, they have all made a difference in their respective causes. 


Founder of Positive Retail, Anna Woods opened her own fashion store in 2020 with a mission to combat the overproduction problem within the fashion industry. Throughout her career as a fashion buyer, Anna witnessed the constant blindeye retailers were turning to produce overwhelming amounts of clothing waste annually. 

Positive Retail offers a curated mix of surplus stock and private seller consignment for men and women. 

Read our more about Anna’s story here:


At 10-years-old Nada was engaged to be married to a man 16-years her senior. However, due to support from her uncle, the engagement fell through. When another wedding was proposed, Nada fled from her family home to live with her uncle. 

She shared her story online and garnered the attention of millions of people around the world. Since then, Nada has worked nonstop to end child marriages across the globe and founded her own charity, the Nada Foundation

For more details of her story, read here:


Survivor of gender-based violence and The Vavengers CEO Sema Gornall came to the UK from Türkiye. She now works tirelessly to ensure girls and women do not have to endure the same things she has experienced. 

She now works with a group of women fighting to end FGM/C (female genital mutilation/cutting) and all other forms of violence against women and girls. 

Read more about Sema’s story and the work of The Vavengers here:


‘What do you want to do about it?’ was all Marvina needed to hear to start her activist journey. Motivated by her own experiences with racism, the mum and activist campaigns for anti-racism in the UK. 

She has founded many initiatives including Black Lives Matter Leeds and Angels of Youth – which was set up to encourage young people to take action on issues that they are passionate about through her Love, Hate, Create model. 

Find out more about Marvina’s journey on our website:


Going by the DJ name DJ MissChivers, Yvette was diagnosed with the genetic eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) 20 years ago, however, due to her diagnosis she had to forfeit her driving licence. 

But in an act of bravery, Yvette got behind the wheel and took on AbleNet’s Blind Driving Experience.

Read more here:


In lockdown, Hattie began creating impactful videos to shed light on epilepsy. She amassed a following by sharing her own personal experiences and challenges with the conduction such as sustaining industries or suffering dental damage. 

She later launched an online initiative named ‘Purpledayss’ with the goal of using her platform to raise awareness about the conduction and in turn, she showed support for The Epilepsy Society’s #FixIt4Free campaign which urges the government to offer complimentary dental repairs for individuals who experience tooth damage due to seizure. 

Watch our video about Hattie here:


After an accident several years ago where Rhiane was nearly run over, she was diagnosed with PTSD. Following this diagnosis, she sought after a new activity to improve her well-being and started hiking.

This blossomed into Black Girls Hike and various opportunities came from Rhiane’s drive for representation in outdoor activities. 

Read more about Rhiane and Black Girls Hike here:


A two-for-one bonus with mother-daughter duo Priscilla and Ainie Grainger. Due to their own experiences as survivors of domestic violence, they now support others to find the courage to leave abusive situations. 

The duo have created resources, including a book, about their experiences and developed a support network to guide victims through their escape journey.

Learn more about their motivations and work here:

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Refuge. This is the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, empowering women to live without violence and fear. Learn more here.

Action Aid UK. This is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty, and helping to end violence so that all women and girls can create the future they want. Find out more here.

Misgav. This charity is for women with physical and learning difficulties to be provided with learning, sport and employment opportunities. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Gender Equality.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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