Jameela Jamil doesn't believe in letting fear stop her from asking for what she deserves. The actress is an equal pay proponent and believes that women should challenge the status quo by asking to be paid the same as their male counterparts.
“I love asking men how much money they earn, and then I love asking for the same amount of money,” Jamil told InStyle. “I literally do it all the time. I’ve walked away from deals until I’ve been given the same pay as the men.”
Jamil, along with Cara Delevingne and Kate Hudson, was honored at the second annual Girl Up #GirlHero Awards on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The women were recognized for their commitment to equal rights for girls and women, including the fight for LGBTQ rights, representation of girls and women, and body positivity.
Girl Up is a global leadership development initiative that helps girls become leaders for gender equality. The organization has trained more than 50,000 girls in nearly 120 countries. The event's host committee featured a ton of celebrities, including Kristen Bell, Mindy Kaling, Regina King, Busy Philipps, Gabrielle Union, and Lena Waithe.
Jamil accepted her award with gusto, imploring young girls to be vocal. “I’m here to promise you that you have the right to question the system that is hurting you,” she emphasized. “To reassure you that you are allowed to ask for more. And that you are allowed to say no because you get to decide what you can’t and won’t do.”
VIDEO: Celebrity Arrivals at #GirlHero Awards
The Good Place actress is no stranger to using her platform to inform and mobilize change, especially around body positivity. As an activist and self-described “feminist-in-progress,” she’s made it her mission to uplift women.
The actress said her life changed when she started reciting affirmations to herself, advising all women to do it. “Write down how you would stand up for your best friend. Or your mother. Or your sister,” she said to InStyle. “Write that down and then say that to yourself. We find it so much easier for some reason to stand up for one another than we do for ourselves.”
When Hudson took the stage to accept her award, she discussed motherhood. The actress has two sons and a daughter, and is clearly no stranger to parenting. But she admitted that raising her one-year-old little girl, Rani Rose, has brought up new emotions.
“I think the most powerful difference is that I can truly understand and identify with her,” she said to the crowd.
She went on to say how important it will be for her to empower her daughter as she becomes a woman. “With my little girl, I know that I will feel a desire to impart wisdom of the challenges that can be faced by being a young woman,” Hudson said.
“Women have an endless capacity to nurture, to care, to love,” Delevingne said in her speech. “But women struggle so much when it comes to loving themselves. But it’s understandable, considering how unfairly women have been treated for so long. It’s generational.”
Julianne Hough was the emcee of the awards luncheon, which included celebrity presenters such as Corinne Foxx, Nigel and Jasmine Barker, and Nikki Bella. Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle made an appearance and introduced R&B artist Jaime Woods, who performed a couple songs for attendees.