“When women are seen to be in positions of authority, they get called things like ‘bossy’, which is obviously regarded as a bad thing to be. But if you switch that around and look at how men in similar positions are described, they get called things like ‘commanding’ and ‘imposing’, which are intended as compliments,” Melanie (16).

THROUGHOUT March 2022, Headliners worked with a group of teenagers and young women from Youth Action and elsewhere to zero in on the issue of women’s rights.

In the run up to the International Women’s Day march in Belfast city centre, we facilitated a number of workshops that looked at ideas such as women’s safety when alone, women’s representation in public life (particularly politics), reproductive rights and equal pay and conditions.

The young people concerned took advantage of the workshops to hone their public speaking skills and in gaining confidence in expressing opinions which are important to them.


In the aftermath of the International Women’s Day march, we continued to focus on issues such as feminism and worked with four young people in particular in preparing for a podcast recording, which they decided to name ‘My Feminist Thoughts’.

Over a number of planning sessions, Theo, Fionn, Melanie and Eva decided to focus on two main themes in their initial podcast: The portrayal of women in the media and the commercialisation of female health concerns.

What came across throughout these workshops, and in the podcast recording itself, was the determination of the young women concerned to participate in the world around them. They are determined to play active roles in making their societies better places in which to live, including expressing their opinions, motivating their peers and campaigning for their rights as equal citizens.

“Male singers and other artists can say things – about relationships, about the world around them, about their feelings – and people will applaud them for being so honest, but if the same words come out of a woman’s mouth then they get hammered for it,” Theo (15).


 This project is kindly funded by the Education Authority Northern Ireland