My mother taught me her prejudice as well as her pride. I am a feminist, because in theory she wasn’t and in practice she was.
In my childhood worldview, my mother was invincible and unbeatable, and I was taught to believe I could dream anything and achieve everything. She ridiculed the idea of gender inequality and claimed making it in life was just a matter of willpower. As a grew up did I understand she was just a mother protecting her daughters from reality; I was happily unaware of her struggles.
Not until I attended Professor Diana Mulinari’s Gender Studies class did l come to understand the injustice my mother faced as a migrant women, on the labour market and in society at large. Not only did she protected her daughters, she also shielded herself from confronting that she too was a victim of discrimination, racism and sexism.
I am grateful for my matriarchal upbringing, for being given the freedom to grow up oblivious to limitations and barriers. I am also thankful that my mother chose to move to Sweden. As many migrants before her and after – she sacrificed her own aspirations, for a better future for her children. Sweden provided me with a country in peace, social protection, free education and healthcare – privileged few girls and women have in the world.
Women’s resilience, strength and power amaze, inspire and motivate me. Regardless if you subscribe to feminism in theory or not, I recommend you to stay open to what gender inequality means in practice, across the globe.
I suggest you to subscribe to FPInterrupted’s newsletter that promotes female journalist covering foreign policy, a field often underrepresented by female journalists (it also includes great tips such as Khazar Fatemi video portraits of ‘Women of War’, about young women pursuing martial arts, graffiti and politics). If you are into podcasts like me, tune into Women in Diplomacy, Smart Women, Smart Power and BBC Women’s Hour (see also on of my first blog posts about my top 10 news podcast).
This is why I have ‘a feminist outlook on global politics’
My mother, Anita 1948-1998