Supporter Spotlight: the big shave!

Chloe Halpenny | Jul 02, 2018
Olivia, pre and post-head shave
From climbing mountains, to hosting cocktail parties, to running marathons, Womankind supporters have consistently gone above and beyond to fundraise for women’s rights around the world. This story is no exception: in the past few months, we’ve had not one, but two supporters shave their heads to raise funds for our work. Olivia (now a self-proclaimed “boiled egg” – although we would disagree) has already raised £2,000 for Womankind and St. Giles Hospice after her visit to the salon in early June, while Etta’s big shave for International Women’s Day saw an incredible £3,720 raised for women and girls.

We chatted with Olivia about the decision to go bald and what it’s been like to fundraise for women’s rights.

What inspired you to fundraise for Womankind?

Womankind helps women in a range of different ways. Living in Britain, it can be easy to think that the world revolves around us – after all, the majority of news we see comes from Europe and America – but women all over the world are worthy of equal rights. That's why I felt Womankind Worldwide was the right choice for my fundraising.

What made you decide to shave your head to raise money?

I have a lot of conversations on social media about women's rights, but I was questioning how much of an impact this was really having. It's so easy to click “like” but I wanted to do something where I could see a difference, which is partly how the plan to shave my head came to life.

Would you call yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

I've identified as a feminist for many years, even since school when people didn't understand what it meant. It caused many heated discussions with my fellow classmates!

Olivia showing off her new do!You’ve raised an incredible amount of money – what do you think made your fundraising so successful?

I couldn't have raised the amount of money I did without the support of my family and friends, who kept sharing my donation page and asking everyone they knew. I feel lucky that I have been able to raise so much money that will hopefully make a real difference in many people's lives. My hair will grow back, but the support and generosity I received will stay in my memories forever.

So…how was the “big shave”? How have other people reacted? 

Leading up to the shave, people kept asking me if I was nervous and the answer was always “not really” – but on the day itself, the panic really kicked in. I've had long hair for nearly two years and I loved it, so it was a big change. Luckily, I'm a big fan of the result. Obviously one of the perks is how low maintenance it is, but really I just feel very free. Having no hair to hide your face with feels quite exposing, but I also really like the statement it makes. Every time I leave the house it's like saying "like it or not, this is how I look and I'm proud of it." I feel very empowered.

Fundraise for Womankind

You don’t need to go bald to "shave the day" (although it certainly is an option)! If you want to support the struggle against Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya or the push for women’s access to justice in Zimbabwe we’d be thrilled to support you in your fundraising endeavour – or help you get creative if you’re not sure where to start.

And if you want to support us, but are not sure if you want to fundraise on your own? No worries. You can show your solidarity by donating directly here
 

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