International Women’s Day has occurred every year since the early 1900’s when a woman named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. Celebrated on March 8, IWD aims to ****make the world more diverse, equitable and inclusive for women around the globe. This year, Spoon is highlighting some amazing women who are driving change within the nutrition and food space.
Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher, body positivity advocate and writer. She self identifies as a "fat femme" and a plus-size woman of colour. In 2017, she published the book Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body. Stanley writes about yoga as a way to address the emotional obstacles and socially imposed barriers that often prevent people from comfortably practising yoga. ****About diet culture, Stanley said; “culture is at its best when you think that you’re deficient in some way. But with body acceptance, you’re saying, “This is my body, and I’m going to honour it by taking care of it.”
Lauren Mahon was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer in 2016 and was instantly terrified. While undergoing treatment, she searched online to find people going through similar experiences but could not. After identifying the need for community, she founded Girls vs Cancer, an online community raising awareness and supporting cancer patients. She was named in the BBC 100 Women in 2019 and became a co-host of the BBC podcast “You, Me and the Big C” sharing her cancer story through comedy.
**Rachel Krupa** founded The Goods Mart in 2018 to be a healthy spin on a gas station mini-mart. It’s described as a “better-for-you, socially conscious neighbourhood convenience store,” that better serves both the individual consumer and the community. All items in the store are carefully curated to be non-GMO and free from artificial flavours or colours. In addition to being healthy, they are affordable. No item surpasses $25, and items start at just 0.49 cents.
Lauren Ash founded Black Girl in Om eight years ago, which provides Black women with workshops about yoga, meditation, and journaling. Ash is “interested in investing in [black women’s] healing and affirming their wholeness.” Lauren’s contributions to society reflect a world that she “once needed and didn’t see.”
Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy are on a mission to make fertility proactive instead of reactive. Prior to building Modern Fertility, they observed how people spend their lives preventing pregnancy but are ill-equipped to plan effectively for having kids in the future. They reject the notion that people should just have to “wait and see” if they conceive, but instead think people should feel empowered with personalised information and support. Modern fertility offers services that allow you to gain insight into your fertility, track ovulation & become the expert on your body — whether you’re trying for kids or not.
This is just a snapshot of the amazing work these women are doing. Be sure to check out their websites and Instagram accounts to learn more about their journeys.