International Women’s Day has become supercharged since the election of Donald Trump and the emergence of the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and more. WWD asked the women of Paris Fashion Week for their take on what the day means in the current climate.
Keira Knightley: “I think what’s important is that conversations have been started, and they’ve been horrifically silent for years. As far as being an actress, I think it’s about trying to get more women’s stories out there, trying to find as many female directors to work with, and writers and female producers. We’ve been utterly underrepresented and if that continues, we’ll continue to be seen as objects rather than fully rounded individuals. Part of the job of the creative industries, and the film industry in particular, is to present people’s stories so that we can understand people who aren’t like us.”
Clare Waight Keller: “I think it’s so much about giving power and strength to women’s voices. It’s always been a date to celebrate, but this year particularly, with everything that’s happened, it’s so much more important to hear that voice. For me, it’s to allow women to say what they feel, and not feel persecuted or judged and feel confident to say what they believe in.”
Rose McGowan: “International Women’s Day, it means take the power, seize the power. It’s not about reclaiming our time, we never had our time, so now is our time. Go! Be punk! Go hard!”
Liya Kebede: “I believe that every year, Women’s Day is important.”
Noomi Rapace: “There are a lot of good things happening, it’s a new time, but every day is a woman’s day for me.”
Karen Elson: “Clearly, over the past year the movement has truly and finally started gaining traction, and what I’m hoping for is that the ball keeps rolling, that more steps are made, particularly in the industry that I’m in. I know there’s a lot of change happening right now, positive change holding people accountable, which I think is truly necessary for the new generation of girls. I’m almost in my 40s, so I’ve been modeling a long time. It’s just the way it’s been for years. I’m really excited to see all those positive changes happen. It’s really powerful and necessary in my industry and I’m excited about the movement in general.”
Blanca Li: “It’s a particularly special day, because it’s the first time women have spoken up and broken a taboo, something we didn’t feel we had a right to talk about, not in such an open way at least. For many women, it’s been a special, painful year, as speaking up is difficult. This open door is a good thing. That all discriminations may cease.”
Farida Khelfa: “I don’t know if celebrating women is a good thing. Every day should be women’s day, and of man, too. Having one day leaves 364 days that aren’t our day, which is rather hard [laughs]. I would prefer it to be every day. Women are so important in our society, that I find it incredible that we could entertain the idea of setting them aside like this, when we are the bedrock of society, and of humanity as a species, too.”
Mira Mikati: “It’s the year of women. Maybe people woke up at the same time. We’re blessed that it’s happening, it’s about empowering women. You’re not just here to be pretty. It’s a supercharged women’s day.”
Isabeli Fontana: “It means fun. As women we need to focus on having fun and being happy. Like attracts like, so if we have this energy, it will bring more. We have this energy but we need to focus it to be happier.”
Michelle Yeoh: “So that women can have a voice, can be heard, so they can learn to empower themselves and take control of their lives. Being financially independent helps families and nations to grow. The first sustainable development goal is the eradication of poverty. Gender equality is only number five but if the two don’t go hand in hand, we don’t stand a chance of eradicating poverty.”
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