We’re emotional, we’re loud, we’re weak, we’re nasty, we’re boring, we’re objects, we’re just girls.
We’re strong, we’re sympathetic, we’re clever, we’re brave, we’re curious, we’re patient, we’re just girls.
And we’ve been through a heck of a lot since the beginning of time. But despite all the challenges that women have faced over the years, we’re pretty freaking awesome. And today, on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day. We celebrate all the things women have achieved during their time on the planet despite all the shit they’ve had to overcome. And if that statement annoyed you, I don’t have the time to tell you why you’re wrong.
What I do have the time to do, though, is celebrate some amazing Maltese girls and women who are doing great things and making us all proud. And there are quite a few of them.
1. Sara Ezabe
At just 22 years old, she’s been awarded the title of Forbes honouree and is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’s Young Leader Award. Sara’s work is heavily focused on challenging the fear-based mindset most Maltese people have towards Muslims on the island.
2. Colette Farrugia Bennett
Colette has been a strong voice in the LGBTQ+ scene here in Malta and works very closely with queer individuals through her job at the Foundation for Social Welfare Services.
3. Yazmin Zammit Stevens
Yazmin is flipping gender stereotypes on their heads and following a career in what is often considered a ‘male’ sport; weightlifting. She currently has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics.
4. Amy Micallef
This powerhouse swimmer is breaking national records left, right and centre. Just last week she broke the national record for the 200m breaststroke, coming in at 2:39,25 during the morning heats at the HiPoint Meet in Zurich.
5. Eve Borg Bonello
At just 15 years old, Eve caught the attention of many with her impassioned speech at the Nationalist Party’s recent annual general council meeting. She is a part of the PN Young Leaders programme.
6. Camilla Applegren
Not only is Cami one of Malta’s MEP candidates this year, but she has made a name for herself as Malta’s queen of green by organising nation-wide clean ups and raising awareness for the importance of keeping our environment healthy.
7. Emma Warrington
A young female entrepreneur who opened and runs a popular eatery in the heart of San Ġwann; ‘Emma’s Kitchen’. Emma has put her print in the food and catering industry here in Malta that is often considered a male-led world here in Malta.
8. Lara Dimitrijevic
Lara is the founder of The Women’s Rights Foundation here in Malta, and is often considered the voice of women all over Malta is the battle for gender equality and speaks up about violence against women.
9. Sarah Zerafa
Also known as ‘Sosa’, she is arguably Malta’s most popular influencer. She has made carer for herself as a model, and her insanely popular ‘How To Style’ videos are always picked up by loads of international fashion Instagram pages.
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How To Style: Berets, in 10 WAYS ????????????❤️ Which look is your favourite? ???????? TAG A FRIEND WHO WOULD LOVE THESE IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS DOWN BELOW ⬇️ All sunglass used are available from @sunglassandsunglass ???? Video by: @yadidadida ????♀️ #HowToStyle #AmericanStyle ????: Jazz In Paris – Media Right Production
10. Yana Azzopardi
The brains behind arguably Malta’s most popular jewellery brand; with beautiful stones adoring checkers, bracelets, rings.. the whole lot. And Yana makes everything by hand!
11. Helene Pellicano
Helene is a young tennis player is making her way up the professional Junior Circuit and most recently participated in the Australian Open Junior Championships.
12. Karly Naudi
Karly was the first transgender model to walk the catwalk at Malta Fashion Week and is a strong voice for the LGBTQ+ community here in Malta. She was most recently the ambassador for Malta Pride Week in 2018.
13. Tamara Webb
Tamara is not only a popular influencer, loved for her down-to-earth personality and the way she promotes a healthy lifestyle. She is also a successful entrepreneur, being the person who set up local eatery JAR and recently setting out to offer her marketing services under her company ‘Tamara Webb’.
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SO…I just won BEST INFLUENCER AWARD (Qed nisthi ????☺️) You know I’m not a woman of a few words ???? So here it goes: Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank YOU, AKA the QUEENS for supporting me and making me feel happy even when at times I’m not. I downloaded instagram years ago with no expectations whatsoever (I mean, it’s ‘JUST’ an app right!? ????) The word ‘influencer’ didn’t even exist and by no means did I ever think it will ever lead to anything like this. My little community ???? I’ve shared my views on many subjects, developed two businesses of my own, and created content for numerous brands. I work hard to keep myself motivated and try my best to live a better life for MYSELF. We live in a day and age where we can put our content out there with our face, with our names, and say whatever it is we want to say whether it’s good or whether it’s bad. You give me the motivation to keep pushing for what I believe in and I hope I can inspire you to be brave and less afraid to stand by your purpose. ???? You can do anything you set your mind to. ❤ #BETTERTOGETHER – THIS is when we make great things happen! 2019 – LET’S DO THIS! ???? THANK YOU @lovinmalta!!! ❤️
14. Naomi Cachia
Naomi is the current president of Forum Żagħżagħ Laburisti, and is actively campaigning for gender equality in the world of Maltese politics.
15. Fran Curmi
Another young tennis player who is making her way through the professional Junior Circuit. At the Australian Open, she reached the semi-final of the junior girls’ doubles main draw.
16. Jo Caruana
In 2006, Jo set up her own full-service content creation and management company, ‘Write Me Anything’. She handles the running of popular Sunday magazine ‘Style’, and also gives etiquette training at her second business – Finesse Consulta. And somehow in between all of this she find the time to take part in high quality theatre productions and campaign for a plastic-free world!
17. Ritty Tacsum
Ritty is a young visual artist and photographer, who’s work often centres around the human body and plays with the way we perceive gender.
18. Cheryl Lofreda
A powerful dancer who’s moves have impressed audiences all around the world. In 2016 at just 20 years old, Cheryl founded her own academy of hip-hop and urban dance called ‘Concept of Movement’, where many young dancers train and compete in competitions locally and abroad.
19.The New Victorians
A singing duo made of sister Phillipa and Bettina Cassar, The New Victorians burst onto the local music scene with their alternative sounds and heart warming lyrics. They’re also making a mark as theatre-makers, with their original piece ‘MARA’, celebrating powerful women through the ages, impressing audiences in Malta and the UK.
20. Maxine Aquilina and Angie Amato
Together Maxine and Angie have set up the charity organisation ‘Jays Of Sunshine’, dedicated to making dreams come true for children and young people undergoing treatment in the Rainbow Ward of Malta’s Mater Dei Hospital.
21. Giulia Pandolfino
In 2017. Giulia launched her own luxury swimwear brand ‘ISLE AND AQUA’. She designs the bikinis by hand, and uses innovative clasps and grips to ensure comfort and durability.
22. Rebecca Bonaci
Rebecca is a tattoo artist who works at Oddity Tattoo Studio, which she founded herself alongside Martin Gafa. She started tattooing at the age of 23 and is well known for her intricate designs that make use of detailed line-work.
23. Clare Brincat
Clare is making a name for herself in the international circus scene as a talented hula hooper! She is part of a group called The Majorettes.
24. Marta Vella
Marta is a local actress who recently graduated from prestigious London drama school ‘RADA’. She has most notably performed in the popular London performance ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’, and recently directed the innovative ‘panto in the dark; Gawgaw’.
25. Martina Mifsud
Martina is a painter and visual artist who has just completed a residency in Barcelona, and was involved in the launch of hand-made belt pushes under the name of ‘Fold‘.
26. Lea Ellul Sullivan
Lea is just 12 years and has already made a name for herself as one of the island’s most talented ballet dancer. in 2018 she was accepted as an international scholar to the Royal Ballet School in the UK after impressing at prestigious dance competition Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP).
27. Lisa Gwen
Lisa Gwen is a local curator, and the brains and heart behind popular Instagram account ‘maltadoors‘.
28. Gabi Calleja
Gabi is a gay rights activist here in Malta and is the chairwoman of the Malta Gay Rights Movement. In addition to her work on gay rights, she is also a senior executive in the public sector in Malta, and has worked in the fields of teaching, drug prevention, training, community development, fundraising, and project management.
29. Yasmin Kuymizakis
More popularly known as YEWS, Yasmin is a local electronic musician and producer. She is also part of a local organisation known as ‘Malta Sound Women Network’, pushing the work of female musicians here in Malta.
30. Saz Mifsud
Saz is a local designer who was first recognised for her beautiful silk scarves, and has recently started working on other accessories such as bags and wallets. She uses her paintings and photography to create digital designs which are printed onto silks to create beautiful, colourful accessories.
31. Yasmin de Giorgio
Yasmin is the founder of popular vegetarian eatery The Grassy Hopper, vegan chocolate bar Theobrama, and ‘eco spa’ Sanya. She is also a co-founder of the Conscious Business Network (Sync Hub) and often speaks there.
32. Martina Zammit and Rachel Cachia
Together, Tina and Rachel set up popular video production service V Squared, and they’re also behind the popular programme Gadgets. And the team at V Squared is largely made up of talented females! You may also recognised Tina from her morning radio show on Vibe.FM.
33. Alison Azzopardi
Alison took part in MasterChef: The Professionals in 2011, wowing the judges and critics with her imaginative dishes. She who has worked at the Sofitel West Sussex, the acclaimed Hotel du Vin in Cambridge and now runs the kitchen at Trabuxu Bistro in Valletta and is an instructor at the Mediterranean Culinary Academy.
34. Ira Losco
Everyone knows who Ira is, she’s made a name for herself as Malta’s queen of pop. From placing to second place at the Eurovision back in the day, to releasing some proper bangers, to being a judge on the first season of the X Factor Malta – she’s done it all.
35. Antonia Bonello
Antonia is an Associate Creative Director for BuzzFeed UK. She joined the company in 2014 after her BuzzFeed commissioned ‘14 Most Brutal Deaths In Game Of Thrones As 8-Bit GIFs’ animation went viral.
36. Julia Perry and Sarah Woods
They’re the girls behind SHE: Social Hub Entrepreneurs. SHE is a support network for women in Malta, designed to help establish connections and relations in business. They welcome women in business from all sectors to part-take in regular meet-ups and Networking events held in various locations and at selected venues around the island.
37. Alex Alden
She may be known for her emotional outburst on the X Factor Malta, but Alex has a vast knowledge of music and the industry under her belt. She’s also shown the country how to take ‘criticism’ with a pinch of salt and brush things off.
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new songs on the way, some very special concerts in may and studio building in progress…also a spontaneous trip to New York on Monday. . . let me know if you have any instruments or equipment lying around gathering dust which you’d be happy to donate to the studioproject taking place in a quiet part of Rotterdam. . my friend and i can ship things over easily or come and collect things with our van wherever they may be :) our studio will then be open to you always with cups of tea, black coffee, scrambly eggs and jeff buckley listening sessions at the ready whenever you feel like it x . . . . photo by @marieclaire_fashion_blog sun by Malta . . #ilovemalta #maltesemusic #rotterdam #rotterdammusic #xfactormaltajudge #maltamusic #maltasingersongwriter #residency #residencyprogram #studioproject #donateinstruments #humblepie #2brokemusicianswithdreams #songwritingcollab #musictouring #busking #maltafashion #xfactormalta #islandgirl
38. Diane Izzo
Diane is the director and CEO at Diaz Group in Malta. Still in her thirties she is one of Malta’s leading entrepreneurs who has successfully made a strong name for the group in the fashion, beauty and catering industries.
39. Carla Grima
Another local designer that seems to have managed to capture the essence of the Mediterranean in her pieces.
40. Janine Camilleri
Janine is the head chef at L’Artiglio Restaurant in Valletta. She describes working in a kitchen as ‘crazy’ and although it is long hours, stressful and takes both a physical and mental toll, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
BONUS: Daphne Caruana Galizia
Daphne was an investigative journalist who was assassinated in October 2017. She was a strong female voice in the community and stood up for seeking, and speaking, the truth. She was also the editor of popular home and food magazine Taste & Flair.
There are obviously soooo many more young girls and women we could have included in this list, but we ran out of time! So we want to hear from you; who do you think should be celebrated this International Woman’s Day?