Back in March we launched our nationwide search to find the UNiDAYS Student Woman of the Year in association with Missguided. Thousands of nominations flooded in in support of some really badass women - we were seriously blown away. Your nominations shouted about important topics like equality, feminism and empowerment but also told stories about strength and generosity. Our panel faced a tough decision, but we’d love to introduce you to our five finalists, including the overall winner - Maddi Pownall.
Madeleine Pownall - Winner
Whilst studying Psychology at the University of Lincoln, Maddi has dedicated the past three years to studying other women. She has led research projects that delve into gender and psychology including subjects such as the male gaze and female empowerment. She is striving to understand the correlation between appearance and self confidence to understand how to empower women in their everyday lives.
Through her campaign Skirts in Schools, she fights for women to have the right to dress how they want. The campaign motto is: "Don't teach me not to be objectified, teach them not to objectify."
Alongside this, she's striving to make her academic commentary on gender equality accessible to the masses through her blog, Thought Bubbles.
Queenie Djan - Finalist
On top of studying Law at the University of Nottingham, she is also President of the Feminist Society, where she has brought together minority groups throughout the uni to come together to protest for change on campus. She also organises workshops on consent and rape culture, self-defence classes and has raised money for the Homeless Period.
If all that wasn’t enough, Queenie also creates biro art featuring the feminist icons she grew up with. Her art was selected to be part of the NastyWomenNYC London empowerment exhibition along with Airbnb's International Women’s Day showcase.
Giulia Olayemi - Finalist
Giulia is currently studying Medicine at Queen Mary University, London. In addition to her studies, Giulia was awarded a grant to travel to Rio, where she worked with NGO AfroReggae to meet with kids who were previously involved in gangs and drug trafficking by engaging them in performing arts.
She is also a body positivity model who wants to reaffirm self-love and confidence for all women! Giulia also represents first-year students at Barts and the London Medical school and recently elected Black Minority and Ethnic representative, giving a voice to all students.
Guilia inspires everyone around her to be the best versions of themselves, whilst tackling several jobs and mentoring young people in her community.
Katie Griffiths - Finalist
Katie studies at King Edward VI School in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Katie has always had a love for technology and was part of a team that came up with the idea to create an app that allows the LGBTQ community to share experiences and information resources, and see they are not alone in their situation. The app was then developed by AppsForGood.
Katie has since been working to encourage more girls to follow a career in technology by sharing her passion for it, and speaking about her experiences at events such as the Oxfam Women in IT Day event last year.
Amika George - Finalist
Amika is the Founder of the #FreePeriods campaign, to end period poverty and smash the taboo surrounding menstruation. She organised the FreePeriods protest in December 2017, attended by over a thousand people. She has written for the Guardian and Huff Post, has been featured in Vogue, Newsweek all while studying!
She campaigns tirelessly and is working with MPs to implement a policy change to allow girls from low-income families to access period products for free. Recently she delivered a talk at the London Assembly with Sadiq Khan and has been awarded Young Campaigner of the Year by various organisations.
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