Feminist new year resolutions for 2019

Ijeoma OluoBy Amy Gray

Two things become more certain with age: the years seem to fly by quicker and each year can feel a little bit harder.

But for all its challenges, 2018 has taught us one thing: women are rising each other and themselves up, demanding rights, fighting for justice and breaking through all those glass ceilings.

It’s been a year where many of us have learned that when we work together, we can achieve together. There’s no “Lean In” here, just the knowledge working to help women requires coordinated action to rebalance what happens in the home, workforce, politics and everywhere else.

So, with 2019 around the corner – what do we want? Instead of those individual resolutions we so often make and break in private, why don’t we commit to collective goals that can help every woman enjoy greater independence, safety and liberation?


  1. Be better allies
    Being an ally to all women takes some work and radical honesty. It’s an act that recognises our personal experiences and privilege aren’t universal for all women. We were blown away with Gala Vanting’s article on how to be a better ally to sex workers that really explains how to be a better ally to all women.
  2. Get reading
    A woman who knows the world knows she can’t be fooled. Get smart and get informed about what’s happening here and abroad. You can spend as little as $1 on some news subscriptions, or load up on podcasts and vlogs.

    While some feel like reading the news can be a depressing, there are ways to exercise good self care and not drown in fake news. Practice good media literacy and get picky about what news you’ll read or watch, like sticking to hard news updates and feature articles instead of opinion pieces. Or getting an actual newspaper instead of reading online (a surefire way to manage any media anxiety).

    Want to see how much news we miss on a daily basis? Set up Google Alerts for your hot topics to get regular emails of what is happening around the world.

  3. Vote for women’s issues
    Studies suggest many women don’t factor in women’s rights into their voting choices. Yet women are a huge voting block kwho can set the national and international agenda every time they vote. With a federal election just around the corner, isn’t it time to vote like a girl? https://www.qvwc.org.au/2018/05/vote-like-a-girl/

  4. Build your own communities
    Live your liberation and reach out to women you know socially, professionally or are in your local or online areas. By building community with women, you’re building a support network for all – especially when sexist abuse thrives in isolation. Get yourself a goddamn girl gang and learn from each other while building each other up.

  5. Get active!
    We’re talking politically. Get active about the issues important to women! Set up grassroots campaigns for things that not only impact you, but also place marginalised women at risk. Groups like Mums for Refugees show how small actions can make a big impact and don’t require massive planning or funds, just commitment and communication. Look at what campaigns are happening on Twitter (like RoboDebt) or www.Change.org and see if you can get involved.

  6. Practice meaningful self care
    We’re very big on self care which is less blanket forts and more about giving yourself nourishing structures that help you face another day. As Audre Lorde famously said “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Read up on how to practice meaningful and challenging self care.

  7. Get financially smart
    Not to get all Barefoot Feminist on you, but one of the keys to women’s independence is money. Money has long been used as a means to discriminate and oppress women, whether it’s not paying them as much as men, making them pay more for items than men or keeping them trapped in bad jobs or relationships they can’t afford to escape. A woman with her own “fuck off fund” can avoid some of these issues, because she has enough savings to prioritise her safety and human rights. Paulette Perhach, who coined the term in an essay and on her website, knows that saving is hard in a world of unpaid internships and casual rates, but every dollar saved could be your path to liberation.
  8. Support women
    Be the change you want to see and actively support women. Want to watch a movie? Watch one made by women. Need new clothes? Find ones made by women in ethical workplaces. Books? Women. A new café? Find one run by women. Make a point – make your own quota and live it. The hoary old refrain that women just don’t make enough money to justify investment is a myth, but let’s drive the point home and actively consume art, politics, consumables made by women..

    If you’re more inclined to donate than buy, consider microloan platform Kiva where many women need help to fund small businesses and projects.

  9. Your new favourite word: No.
    Women have been trained to center everyone else in their lives except themselves, rationalising that pleasing others is “just how things are” or a sign they’re a team player. No.

    That’s why we think you should say no. Once a day. Say no to unreasonable requests, offensive comments and ridiculous sexism. Say no to being invisible labour and build on it with other great phrases like “I’m not done talking”, “stop interrupting”,  “go away”, “you do the dishes”, “take my medical pain seriously” and “I deserve a raise”.

  10. Believe women, believe yourselfAs #MeToo and life has shown, sometimes women aren’t the best supporters of other women. Women of colour can be ignored or not believed by white women when they share their experiences of racism and sexism. Women who testify about sexual assault or harassment they have received can feel isolated by other women who defend alleged perpetrators. Then we have women who just don’t believe in themselves, feeling like imposters instead of skilled professionals at work.

    It seems like we rarely believe women, including ourselves. This is incredibly isolating and dangerous, leading many women to not report crimes or other incidents. It can prevent them from really participating in life with the same confidence as, say, a mediocre white man.

    It’s time to put an end to this. When women explain what has happened to them, believe them. And start believing in yourself, knowing that your imposter syndrome is merely a ruse to keep you working twice as hard as a man because you all think you don’t deserve to be there.

You deserve it. And you deserve so much more.

See you in 2019.


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Amy Gray is a Melbourne writer whose work focuses on feminism, culture and parenting. She tweets via @_amygray_

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