A small group of high school girls in Halifax are hoping their message about feminism will be heard around the world.
“Sometimes we set these huge goals for ourselves that we really want to achieve and people go around telling us, ‘No, you’re a girl. No, you’re from a different country. You can’t achieve that,'” said Foluke Akinkunmi, one of the group’s founders.
“We want girls to know that if they can dream it, they can be it.”
Akinkunmi and her friends created a YouTube channel and Instagram account called G Inspire 360.
Their series, dubbed “Girl Talk,” adopts a talk show format. The girls discuss issues that are important to them and share their own experiences.
The group has published one video so far and hope to publish one a month.
Girls hope to inspire others
While many Canadian teens have used YouTube to reach large audiences, Akinkunmi, Raphaela Borja and Elina Feili said it’s a new experience for them.
They film at a library with the help of a local company that creates wedding videos. They credit each other and their parents for inspiring their ideas, and hope other girls will relate.
“The stories that we are telling are affecting other people,” said Borja, who shared a story of being told by a boy in her grade three class that girls were no good at building structures.
“As we get bigger, we’re going to be able to express more and we’re going to be able to inspire more people around the world. So that just makes me happy.”
The girls identify as first-generation immigrants and some of their experiences involve stereotypes about their background, as well as being a girl.
‘We are making a change, step by step’
Feili is Iranian-Canadian and shared her story of being asked where she came from by a boy in her math class.
“He was really shocked to know that I was Iranian, because he was very used to knowing that Iranian women aren’t educated,” she said.
“I just told him that is not right. You can’t judge people because of their background.”
The girls are now in the pre-international baccalaureate program, geared towards high-achieving students.
Feili said a special moment for her was when the group learned that another girl at their school saw their video and said she had similar experiences.
“That really touched me, because it was a time when I felt that maybe we are making a change, step by step,” she said.
Watch the first episode of “Girl Talk” below:
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