13 Southeast Asian Artists Talk Empowerment on International Women's Day

To mark International Women's Day we asked 13 musicians from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines a few questions about being female in today's world. As well as in this article, their answers will appear throughout the day on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sharing their words on womanhood are Maudy Ayunda (Indonesia), Leanne Mamonong from Leanne and Naara (Philippines), Dato' Sri Siti Nurhaliza (Malaysia), Anggun (Indonesia), Cooky Chua (Philippines), Flying Ipis' Deng Garcia (Philippines), Rossa (Indonesia), Ella (Malaysia) and Fazura (Malaysia). Rounding out the group are four members of The Ransom Collective (Philippines): Jerms Peck, Muriel Gonzales, Lily Gonzales and Leah Halili. Here's what they told us:

What does "being a strong woman" mean to you?

Maudy Ayunda (Asia Spotlight artist): A strong woman is someone who thinks for herself, stays true to her principles, and lives by her rules.

Leanne: What makes a woman strong is her capability to fight and to keep an unwavering hope despite the hardships that surround her.

Dato' Sri Siti Nurhaliza: A strong woman is a wise woman who uses her advantage and credibility to inspire many people.

Anggun: To me it means to be in charge of my own happiness, my own destiny, to be comfortable in my own skin, to be in sync with my heart and my mind. A strong woman forgives and loves. A strong woman is free...

Cooky: A strong woman for me acknowledges her weaknesses, accepts and embraces them and does something about them.

Deng: It means getting to do whatever the f**k I want.

Jerms: Being a strong woman means being comfortable in your skin.

Muriel: Knowing that nothing binds you and just going for it.

Lily: It is to act true to yourself and to encourage others to do the same.

Leah: Being a strong woman to me means that one is able to independently care for herself without relying too much on people.

Rossa (Asia Spotlight artist): For me being a strong woman is being the best mother I can be for my son, the best daughter I can be for my mum and a role model for Indonesian women.

Ella: Being a strong woman, to me, means being a woman who is driven to do her best in everything she does and take criticism as opportunity to improve.

Fazura: Being a strong woman means you can be compassionate and be kind, but also to know what you want and be able to say no to things that do not represent you.


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