theguardian: by Joe Williams, Tshepo Mokoena, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Homa Khaleeli and Nosheen Iqbal
The MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central joined the shadow cabinet following Jeremy Corbyn’s victory: she had nominated him for the Labour leadership, but you wouldn’t call her support a reward for loyalty, exactly. She actually prefered Andy Burnham, but lent Corbyn her vote to broaden the debate. She always strikes me as sincerely believing this stuff, that the membership couldn’t be railroaded, that differences couldn’t be waved away, that points of view other than her own needed a hearing.
Onwurah has breadth and depth – an engineering background, a life before parliament – and you can hear it in the way she talks about business; she is practical and full of insight where the political class generally adopts a kind of fawning, modern-day courtliness. As shadow minister for business, innovation and skills, she could be extremelyvaluable to Corbyn’s Labour: sharp and independent minded, she’s credible, likable and hopeful.
She could also potentiallypresent an antidote to an opposition that feels quite cliquey. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement but has no hard-left reputation to speak of. She also knows an absolute ton about broadband. Zoe Williams
Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard
Using your fame to discuss intersectional feminism isn’t the standard career move for teenage stars, but step forward Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard. The 17-year-old Hunger Games actor first spoke out about the cultural appropriation of African-American music and hairstyles in a video posted on Tumblr in January.
She was trashed as an “angry black girl” by commenters, but that hasn’t stopped her making headlines into 2015 for writing about the effects of white supremacy on black women in the US, campaigning for more nuanced film roles for non-white actors, and asking her followers to consider “what would America be like if it loved black people as much as it loves black culture?”.
She has also co-written Niobe, a comic book with a black female protagonist, and topped Ms Foundation’s feminist celebrity of 2015 poll. It’s a win she shares with 14-year-old actor Rowan Blanchard – who deserves an honourable mention for her own Tumblr essay on the importance of inclusive feminism. Tshepo Mokoena
It’s been quite a year forCharlotte Church, who outed herself as a prosecco socialist in this verypaper back in May. “Mad as hell” at the “utterly intolerable” Tory election victory, she met 250 or so others at the statue of Aneurin Bevan in Queen Street, Cardiff, and marched against austerity.
“For Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, to describe my exercising of democratic freedom as ‘unbecoming’ really says more than I ever could,” she wrote. “Perhaps he thinks I should get back to the ironing and stop babbling on about airheaded notions such as protecting the NHS (a system that he himself has been most mobile in attacking), fighting for a fairer society (a concept that entirely eludes his party), and championing the plight of those in society who are less privileged than me. Perhaps he wants to quiet me because I threaten his status as a wealthy, privately educated, white male.”
Who would want to get on the wrong side of Church? Church has proved herself to be an intelligent, passionate activist, speaking at at anti-austerity marches, Glastonbury and fracking protests. She has proved that politics is tons more interesting when women’s voices are raised. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Clare Moseley (and the volunteers in Calais)
From the horrifying pictures, terrifying testimonies and sheer number of people involved, the refugee crisis made the world seem pretty bleak this year. The only respite were the defiant acts of kindness it also sparked.
In the Jungle – the refugee camp in Calais – I met Clare Moseley, an accountant from Merseyside. This week, like the rest of us, she should have been thinking about presents, her work Christmas party, or whether to buy a turkey or a goose. Instead, months ago, she left her husband, work, family and friends to distribute donations and move temporarily to the French town.
After reading about refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, she wanted to show“that there are people in Britain who care”. And Clare isn’t the only one. In Calais there was ex-firefighter Liz Clegg, who set up a women and children’s centre with a team of young, female volunteers plus a constantstream of women fundraising or driving convoys of donations to the camp. It may not solve the crisis, but the work of people such as Molseley, and the sleeping bags and warm clothes they brought with them, made a small difference to huge numbers of people in 2015.Homa Khaleeli
As she stepped up to the podium at Baltimore’s war memorial on 1 May, the city’s state attorney could not have expected to become the focus of international headlines just four months into the job. But 35-year-old Mosby, the youngest chief prosecutor of any major US city, delivered a damning indictment of unchecked police brutality when she charged six officers over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. “To the youth of this city,” she promised, facing a wall of reportersand flashbulbs: “I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment, this is your moment … You’re at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now.”
Gray’s death two weeks before in the back of a police van sparked mass protest. It is rare that a police officer is ever charged in the death of a suspect, and Mosby (who was forced to keep reminding critics that she hailed from “five generations of cops”) took a major gamble to pursue the case. Last week, after a deadlocked jury was unable to reach an unanimous verdict, the judge ruled a mistrial. But Mosby, who has faced down critics and the police union’s attempts to counter-sue, is determined; a second trial is expected in the new year. Nosheen Iqbal
Origional Post here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/22/six-women-who-made-2015