Angharad Williams is a Welsh-Irish journalist based in Dublin and is the Web Content Manager of Ireland’s Premier Fashion and Beauty website, iVenus.com.
Born to an Irish mother and Welsh father she is a fluent Welsh speaker. She spent three years in London working as a music journalist before heading to Dublin to return to education. She has written for a range of topics for Woman’s Way, The Sunday Times, the BBC as well as numerous websites and magazines.
Having done voluntary work in Tanzania, teaching children and working HIV and AIDS awareness projects, she has seen first hand how charities like Plan Ireland can make a difference.
Because I am a Girl I ask … that every woman have access to basic human rights. I spent time in a village in Tanzania where you can buy big brand drinks and confectionary, but there is no running water or sanitation. How does that make sense? I also ask that women all over the world be given the ownership of their bodies and over their lives and that they will not be used for financial gain without their consent.
Because I am a Girl I believe… women are central to society in developing countries and the western world. When I worked in Tanzania we were involved in a HIV/AIDS charity in the town that was set up by two local women and I also met a woman who spent her life setting up a charity for the street children. I met women there, who held high-ranking jobs and had their own businesses – a far cry from the images of African women we often see on television.
Because I am a Girl I hope… one day that girls will respect each other more. Having worked in a male dominated industry I saw that men don’t tend to tear each other down the way women do. We should celebrate each other’s successes rather than bringing them down by passing comment on the way someone looks or lives their life. I have found that women can be their own worst enemies and if we supported girls we know and those across the world we would ultimately be more powerful.
Because I am a Girl I wonder… how I got to where I am today. I never intended to be a journalist and I began writing about hip hop for a free magazine when I just finished university. Looking back, it was another woman, Bina ‘Bob’ Mistry, who gave me my first break into journalism and I am still grateful to her for taking a chance on me. Being a girl in such a male dominated industry there were times where I would wonder what I was doing there especially when I would be interviewing up-and-coming rappers on some of the roughest estates in London. But, I found that if you know what you’re talking about and you’re not afraid to voice your opinion then people will respect you.
Because I am a Girl I dream… that every woman has the opportunity to live her dream whether that be becoming a top neurosurgeon or being a housewife in a loving home.
Because I am a Girl I remember… the girls and women who have influenced my life. I come from a line of strong Welsh and Irish women and there have always been strong female role models in my life. My mother went back to university at 40 and opened a shop in her late 50s and she still works six days a week, she is my biggest inspiration in life. Working for Woman’s Way I got to meet some amazing women who deal with unimaginable traumas and hardships and still find the strength to carry on and go on to bigger and better things. Through them I learnt that no matter how hard things seem, life does get better and that you should never give up.
Because I am a Girl I like… to read about women who have made their mark on history, my first degree was in history and I still love it as a subject. I like everything from fashion to rugby and meeting people in all sorts of places from the woman I say hello to each morning on my walk to work, to the owner of my favourite café in Dublin.
Because I am a Girl I dislike… it when we are not given the respect we deserve whether that be in our daily lives to having our say in the way the country is run. Women need to make their voices heard whether that be because we got poor service in a restaurant, someone spoke to us inappropriately to saying no to injustices in the world. Only by making our opinions and feelings known can we improve things for ourselves and others. I learnt from women I met at university that if you don’t like something you don’t have to put up with it.
Because I am a Girl I feel… the Internet gives us a freedom to have our voices heard whether that be on a blog, on forums or through social networking. It also gives us access to women all over the world and the chance to read their stories and find out how we can make a difference.
Because I am a Girl I… feel blessed that I have a support network of women who are all over the world – I would trust them with my life. I have experienced things as a woman I could never do as a man, from having mint tea with Berber women in the mountains Morocco to singing in Welsh with a women’s choir on stage. There are things which are special to being a girl, but there are still areas where that’s a disadvantage and I hope to see that change in my lifetime.
– Angharad Williams