Violence against women has never been more in the public eye, with what feels like a constant stream of allegations against everyone from Hollywood superstars to government ministers hitting the headlines. But, beyond high profile cases of sexual harassment and assault, violence against women is a much bigger, global issue, believed to affect around 1 in 3 women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

As a teenage feminist, it’s easy to feel totally helpless in the face of such massive problems – from female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, to rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence. But remember that every big change starts with lots of tiny steps.

Each year from the 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10 December (World Human Rights Day), UN Women organises 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Here are 16 ways you can get involved

1. Go on a Reclaim The Night march

Reclaim The Night marches take place every winter in cities around the UK to protest violence against women and campaign for safer streets for women and girls. Search online for your nearest march, grab your mates, make a placard, wrap up warm, shout some feminist chants, and you’re away!

2. Join in a hashtag campaign

Whether it’s #MeToo, or #EverydaySexism, calling out incidents of sexism, harassment and violence online helps raise awareness of the scale of the problem, and empowers others to speak up too.

3. Sign a petition

It takes literally seconds of your time, but a big list of names on a petition can make a big impact. You could start with this one, which calls on the UK government to fulfil its commitment to ending violence against women.

4. Start a blog or vlog

You don’t need to be the next big internet superstar, but using an online platform to share stories, experiences and observations can be a great way to learn more, raise awareness, and connect with other feminists online.

5. Share information online

You’ll find all sorts of downloads on the bigger charities’ websites – easy to save and share on your Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram. Check out Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis or Integrate UK for just a few ideas of the resources you could share.

6. Write to your MP

You might not be able to vote for them yet, but you can still write to them! Ask what they’re doing to end violence against women, and support survivors, either locally or at a national level.

7. Get involved with youth politics and campaigns

Or go one better and get involved in creating social change yourself, through organisations like the UK Youth Parliament or Fixers.

8. Stand up to harassment at school

Easier said than done, but standing up and speaking out when you spot abusive behaviour is powerful.

9. Give as you shop

Most women’s charities depend on donations but, when you’re skint, it can be tough to decide how much and how regularly you can afford to give – especially when there are always new school books and stationery to buy. Services like Give As You Live and Easy Fundraising make it easy by donating a small commission to your chosen charity every time you shop online – and it won’t cost you a single extra penny.

10. Donate Christmas gifts to survivors of violence

If you’d rather give actual stuff to someone in need, lots of women’s charities do collections throughout the year, and Christmas is the perfect time to give. Women for Refugee Women are currently collecting unused beauty products to brighten up the holidays for women seeking asylum. Or you can buy a parcel to support women and children fleeing domestic violence through Refuge.

11. Volunteer your time

Super easy to fit in around your homework and social life, get in touch with your local women’s charities to find out how your skills can help them. Perhaps there’s a nearby rape crisis charity searching for someone who’s a pro on social media, a local refuge in need of redecorating, or an anti-FGM charity desperate for help at their next fundraising event.

12. Get your mates together for a fundraising event

Whether it’s a bake sale or a movie night, get your mates together and have a laugh in aid of a good cause, while encouraging everyone to donate what they can to your chosen women’s charity.

13. Learn more about global issues and support women internationally

Charities like Women for Women International, Womankind Worldwide, and the Dalit Freedom Network help women at risk of violence and exploitation globally, and all have plenty of opportunities for you to donate or fundraise to support their work.

14. Join or start a feminist club to tackle local issues

Alternatively, it might feel more manageable to start closer to home, by joining a feminist club in your school or community, campaigning on local issues, and fundraising to support local organisations.

15. Donate a week’s pocket money

Another way to make giving easy – donate a week’s pocket money to your chosen charity, or see how long you can quit your daily break-time Twix habit, and donate the money you’ve saved.

16. Get sponsored to challenge yourself

You totally can run that 5K, shave off all your hair, or go a week without makeup – and, what’s more, people will pay good money to your favourite charity to see you do it.

If you’re not sure which charities are out there to support, check out the End Violence Against Women coalition or the Agenda Alliance for inspiration.

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So your Insta feed is full of Bella Hadid’s selfies and Kaia Gerber’s ever-cool outfits, but you feel like you need a little refresh? We hear you and, thankfully, there are loads of new faces just waiting for you to hit that ‘follow’ button. Move over Gigi and Kendall; these are the latest style babes giving us a glimpse into the world of fashion.

Luna Bijl (@mxlunaa)

🐶 @missoni

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Dutch beauty Luna is just 19 years old and has already walked for major designers like Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli. When she’s not modelling, you’ll see Luna travelling the globe, doing motocross and hanging out with her fam.

Samile Bermannelli (@samile_b)

saturday 👅

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Samile is from Salvador in Brazil and she walked in her first fashion week in Paris when she was just 17. Now 19, she’s stomped down the runway for everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Anya Hindmarch, and is set to make her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut this November!

Laiqah Omar (@laiqahomar)

So grateful to be in Paris, having the best time #parisfashionweek #busyday #showtime 🇫🇷💃🏻

A post shared by Laiqah Omar (@laiqahomar) on

Laiqah is just 16, but the half-Welsh, half-Somali model walked for Tommy Hilfiger at London Fashion Week in September, before flying to Milan to rock the Prada show. Still at school in Cardiff, Laiqah is juggling her career with her A-levels, and a burning desire to become a DJ. How much cooler can one girl get? Follow and find out.

Grace Elizabeth (@lovegrace_e)

Grace walked for Victoria’s Secret last year and looks set to return to the lingerie brand’s annual extravaganza. The Florida-born model is super close to her family and posts photos of them as often as she does her shoots and runway moments for the likes of Moschino and Missoni.

Amilna Estevao (@officialamilnaestevao)

Cominn for ya Summaaaa like…? #blackisbeautiful #summertime #DFBK #comingsoon 💋

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It might sound like a cliché, but Amilna’s smile can truly light up a room, and her face is so stunning that she’s fronted campaigns for MAC Cosmetics. Hailing from Angola, Amilna won Elite’s Model Look contest back in 2013, aged 14. Fast-forward a few years and she’s walking runways all over the world, modelling for Tom Ford and generally bossing life. We love her.

Estelle Chen (@chen_estelle)

@lucbraquet_ 🇺🇸☺️

A post shared by Estelle Chen 陈瑜 (@chen_estelle) on

Estelle is of Chinese heritage, but was born and raised in Paris, and her modelling career has taken her all around the globe. Starring in campaigns for H&M and walking at Elie Saab, the 19-year-old’s professional snaps are peppered with delicious-looking food pics, so you will leave her feed hungry for sure.

Tarah Rodgers (@tarahrodgers)

🍀Happy St Patrick's Day🍀 don't forget to wear green today💚

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Hailing from Brooklyn in New York, you may recognise Tarah from her summer 2017 Sweaty Betty campaign, while she’s also walked for Topshop, Temperley London and Naeem Khan. Her ’gram is full of wanderlust-inducing travel shots, as well as snaps of her partying with her fellow models between shows, so you can be sure you’ll spot another gorgeous face or two to follow on Tarah’s feed.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Oh, 2016. You’ve been quite a year. The year of Brexit. The year of Trump. The year of Planet Earth II and Pokemon Go. The year Giant Pandas stopped being endangered. The year of Lemonade and Blac Chyna. Amidst all the highs and lows, there’s one group of people who have consistently been incredible: girls.

Here are some of our faves from 2016.

Millie Bobby Brown burst onto our screens 

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown was one of our fave girls this year. With her totally cringe first kiss story, her ability to rock pretty much any haircut and, of course, her rapping, she’s our current pick for dream celeb BFF. 

Kiara Nirghin found a way to fight drought

This year’s winner of Google’s Science Fair prize is 16-year-old Kiara Nirghin. The South African teen scientist found a way to turn orange peels and avocados into water store units, making them a cheap and environmentally-friendly method drought. We feel a bit sorry for anyone who has to sit next to her in chemistry.

Bana al-Abed opened our hearts

Brave seven-year-old Bana gave a face to the awful conflict in Syria, after she set up a Twitter account with her mother’s help to tell people about the situation that was transpiring in Aleppo. Thankfully, Bana and many other children have now been evacuated out of Aleppo to safety.

This girl took the best shower photo of all time

When a guy in Reese Herbet’s class asked her for a shower selfie, she happily obliged. But it wasn’t exactly the photo he bargained for.

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Simone Biles took home a lot of gold

No list would be complete without Simone Biles. At the Rio Olympics this year she took home four gold medals and one bronze for Team USA to add to her FOURTEEN World Championship medals. Since coming back from Rio, she’s appeared in music videos, made a few appearances on Ellen and had Channing Tatum fan girl all over her. Tbf, can you blame him?

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This girl taught us the secrets to studying

This university student in Texas became every student’s hero when she bought a mattress into the library so she could take a nap. Someone give that girl an A to go with her zzzzs.

Maisie Williams opened up about bullying 

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has continued being awesome in 2016. She talked frankly about being bullied for being cast in GOT and is now backing an NSPCC campaign to raise awareness of both bullying and child abuse. Her advice for young people being bullied? Speak out about it and don’t bottle everything up inside. Which is easier than learning Arya’s sword skills, to be fair.

Jazz Jennings taught us about being trans

Trans teenager Jazz Jennings has been documenting her experiences for 10 years now. She has a YouTube channel, a television series and this summer, she released her book Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen (and you thought your were busy)Her message for the next President-elect Trump? “Equality is what unites our society, and everyone needs to understand that not only do we all deserve to be loved, but we deserve to love ourselves for who we are.” We couldn’t have said it better, Jazz.

This girl rocked her ID photo 

June Kyra Dela Chica didn’t want a regular high school ID photo. Instead this genius 17-year-old decided to channel the matchmaker from Mulan, because why the hell not? We think she nailed it. Next year: Lumiere.

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Girls of 2016: you are awesome. We can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2017.

 

 

 

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.