This TikTok dance challenge is actually a basic self-defense guide

For the International Day of the Girl Child this year (11 October 2021), UN Women Australia has launched a new TikTok dance challenge. And before you roll your eyes and walk out of this article, let me explain why this is important. See, this #EmpowerMoves challenge is more than pretty choreography: it’s a sequence of basic self-defense moves.

The #EmpowerMoves dance challenge uses music by Australian singer-songwriter Wafia and moves by choreographer Karla Mura – led by the She Fights Back (women-only self-defense training) team – to put together a sequence using moves like palm strikes, blocks and rolls under.

The video is now live on TikTok, along with a series of explainer videos on each move. The movement is gaining attention as a clever way to shed light on the important issue of women’s safety.


#EmpowerMoves is the dance that is also self-defense. Join the movement today #UNWomenAust

♬ Good Things (R3HAB Remix) – Wafia

UN Women Australia CEO Simone Clarke shared a statement on the dance, saying:

“The challenges girls face are relentless, some we could never have imagined, but they are resilient and deserve to celebrate their strength. When the world is safe and equal for girls, we will dance with joy. there, girls can dance to be fierce, dance to be powerful, and dance to show their voice for the equality they deserve”.

While a dance on TikTok will certainly not be able to solve the very real problem, the team behind the #EmpowerMoves TikTok challenge for the International Day of the Girl Child pointed out that this initiative was designed to help raise awareness, start important conversations and boost women’s confidence.

So far, names like Grace Tame, podcasters Toni Lodge and Ryan Jon, and h3rizonmusic have gotten involved in the movement, sharing their moves for a good cause. However, there are many more who share their perspective on the #EmpowerMoves challenge. Check out the full list of vigilante TikTok dancers here.


Grace Tame showed us her EmpowerMoves, how about you? Join the movement????

♬ Good Things (R3HAB Remix) – Wafia


Say HELLO to @UN Women Australia and support @toni.lodge by learning these #EmpowerMoves

♬ Good Things (R3HAB Remix) – Wafia


#EmpowerMoves #UNWomenAust Dance for a Cause‼️#dance #girlgroup #besties #h3rizon #fypシ

♬ Good Things (R3HAB Remix) – Wafia

The #EmpowerMoves campaign follows on from UN Women Australia’s When Will She Be Right? initiative from early 2021, asking Australians to push to accelerate progress on gender equality.

If you want to learn more about the #EmpowerMoves movement, keep reading here. White Ribbon Australia also offers valuable information on gender-based violence here.

If you or someone you love needs help, 1800RESPECT offers counseling and support for those affected by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse 24/7, free of charge. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.