“I think it’s so important to encourage, admire and be inspired by other women”
Sally Hayden is a Dublin-born, London-based journalist and photographer. Her work has been published by the Irish Times, the Sunday Times, CNN International, VICE, VICE News, the Financial Times, Business Insider, the Santa Barbara Independent, and SME, among others.
She has received two Simon Cumbers Awards, enabling her to travel to Malawi to report on gender equality, and to spend a month in Rwanda covering the twentieth anniversary of the genocide.
This year she has also reported from Malian refugee camps in Burkina Faso and covered the independence referendum in Scotland.
Because I am a Girl I ask … that women and men call out bad behaviour when they see it.
Because I am a Girl I believe … that I am incredibly lucky to be born at the time I was, in the country I was, to the family I was, and to have the freedom to choose my own future and to speak my own mind.
Because I am a Girl I hope … that the traditional image of what a leader is can change and is changing. Women are doing incredible things all across the world, but still for many “leadership” is an implicitly male concept.
Because I am a Girl I wonder … why the text on this page is pink.
Because I am a Girl I dream … Recently I’ve been dreaming a lot about war for some reason. I’m not sure what that has to do with being a girl.
Because I am a Girl I remember ... when I worked in a bar and a guy who had been verbally harassing me on a regular basis apologised. The apology came after he found out I was an Irish student and not a “23 year old immigrant worker.” That was when I realised that some people treat others differently depending on their perceived status, and with sexism – as with all other forms of discrimination – the people who are most vulnerable are those who are identified as the least powerful and the least likely to have a voice to complain.
Because I am a Girl I like ... that people discuss gender inequality, whether or not they believe it exists. I also like initiatives that attempt to create simple and effective change, rather than just ruminating on the status quo. One example is Foreign Policy Interrupted, a project that identified the lack of female foreign policy experts receiving exposure and decided to compile “binders” of them.
Because I am a Girl I dislike ... people who lack empathy.
Because I am a Girl I feel … that men come up against a lot of difficulties too, particularly when it comes to discussing their feelings.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate… other women’s achievements. I think it’s so important to encourage, admire and be inspired by other women. A little competition is healthy, but I think women compare themselves to each other a lot more than men do and we don’t need to. There’s room for everyone, and you don’t live a happy life by pretending to be someone else, you do it by being yourself.