In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Women for Women International is placing a spotlight on five women using their platforms and their #PowerToChange to create positive ripple effects in their respective communities. From performing on stage to publishing books to launching their own mission-driven brands, they share a collective pursuit to break barriers, to help empower those around them, and to create better and more equitable opportunities for all women to thrive and grow.
Here are five powerful women worth getting to know.
Meghan Kabir @meghankabir
Meghan Kabir is an Afghan American multi-platinum singer and songwriter. In addition to having written songs for some of pop music’s biggest names (Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Sabrina Carpenter to name a few), Meghan has also produced for the Neftlix Motley Crue biopic, The Dirt, making her mark as the only female music producer on the film. Her Afghan roots are at the heart of her daily inspiration, and she remains dedicated to raising awareness about Afghanistan and fighting for peace through her music and advocacy.
Following the fall of Kabul in August 2021, Meghan felt an even deeper calling to use her voice for good. She remains actively engaged in protests and petitions and uses her social media platform as a tool to raise awareness in addition to dedicating her time away from the studio to collaborating with various organizations across the country to host fundraisers in support of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Most recently, Meghan partnered with Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Diane Warren on a rendition of Diane’s Oscar-nominated song “Somehow You Do” from the film, Four Good Days directed by Rodrigo Garcia, starring Mila Kunis and Glenn Close. On Friday, March 4, Meghan will perform “Somehow You Do” during an Instagram Live session with Women for Women International at 2 p.m. EST.
Tahmina Ghaffer @moonflowers_co
After fleeing the civil war in Kabul several years ago, Afghan refugee Tahmina Ghaffer sought asylum in The Netherlands where she studied international public law and worked for several years before moving to Washington D.C. After relocating to the US and inspired by her lived experiences, Tahmina began to explore her passion for and pursuit of justice and equality. This marked the beginning of launching her company, Moonflowers, a premium saffron company. She credits her desire to celebrate women in Afghanistan who harvest saffron with love as the inspiration behind the brand.
“For many women in rural areas, this has been their only opportunity to participate in the labor market,” she said. “For the first time, they were able to earn their own income and this empowers them. As a refugee myself, I knew I had to support this movement by introducing the saffron Afghan woman harvest with love.”
On Friday, March 4, Tahmina will join Meghan Kabir during an Instagram Live session with Women for Women International at 2 p.m. EST.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones @luvvie
Born in Nigeria and raised in Chicago, Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a two-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host who thrives at the intersection of humor, media, and justice. In 2016, she published her first bestseller, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, and followed it with her equally successful and critically acclaimed book Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual in 2021. Additionally, Luvvie is an internationally recognized speaker who focuses on themes such as culture, authenticity, and how disruption enables transformation. She even ranks among the Top 1% TED Talks of all time with her renowned “Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable” reaching over 8 million views and being transcribed into 23 languages. Luvvie is also passionate about amplifying Black-owned businesses through her project, Black Business Luvv (#BlackBizLivv) and raised over $500,000 in August 2021 for Black Business Month. Her newest book, Rising Troublemaker: A Manual for Teens, will be released in May 2022.
Jacq Tatelman @statebags
After working with disenfranchised youth, Jacqueline (Jacq) Tatelman and her husband Scot recognized the widespread need for even the smallest gift of confidence—like a new backpack for the school year—and cofounded STATE Bags in 2013. As CEO and Creative Director, Jacq has grown the business into a popular mission-driven accessories brand offering high-quality backpacks, bags, and more for the whole family. STATE Bags also encompasses various giving efforts through non-profits, fully-packed bag drop rallies in underserved communities, free tutoring sessions for families struggling to navigate at-home learning during the pandemic, and more. Each year, STATE Bags allocates 5% of the company’s total revenue towards efforts that help American families and children in the ways they need it most.
Mihaela Noroc @the.atlas.of.beaty
For the past nine years, Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc has traveled the world, reaching nearly 100 countries, to photograph women and listen to their stories from all regions through her series, The Atlas of Beauty. From villages in Afghanistan and Iraq to isolated communities in the Amazon to conflict zones such as Ukraine or the humble streets of Guatemala, Mihaela shows the diversity of our planet through portraits of women. Her goal is to show that “beauty is much more than what we usually see in the media.” As a mother of a young girl, Mihaela feels more motivated than ever to share the diversity of the world and to promote the beautiful side of humanity. Her book, The Atlas of Beauty, is a manifesto for love and diversity with 352 pages of 500 portraits and stories.