#Be Bold For Change

Bucket Bag – Zara / Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation – YSL / Brow Pomade – NYX / Illamasqua Anti Matter Lipstick in Spectra – lookfantastic* / Quiet by Susan Cain
Disclaimer: Thoughts are based on my own experiences

Growing up, my parents would tell me boys are smarter than girls…

First of all, my parents didn’t mean ill. To them it was simply a fact. It didn’t stop them from encouraging me to pursue education. Still, for a primary school girl, this kind of attitude can be quite discouraging. You start wondering: “Is there even a point in trying?” Yet, my competitiveness won over my timid nature, and I wanted to prove them wrong. #BeBoldForChange

Gender Equality in Vietnam

I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to gender equality in Vietnam. I mean I was born and grew up in Germany. However, talking to my mother, my grandmother and aunts, it’s easy to get a general picture of the situation in Vietnam. You see, my parents didn’t say boys are smarter than girls because they didn’t believe in me. Rather, it’s something they grew up with. My mother, the youngest daughter among 8 siblings, spent most of her teenage years catering to my uncles, while they studied to get degrees and a good job. Because of that patriarchic society, she moved to distant Germany, trying to make a life of her own.

Of course, things have changed a lot since then. Many girls in Vietnam now successfully pursue higher education and work. Vietnam has been increasingly promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, which is reflected in its legislative framework. Yet there was this one time, I was still in university and at the time visiting family in Vietnam, when my aunt and I were just catching up. She discouraged from dating and marrying a Vietnamese guy. According to her, most Vietnamese men feel threatened by intelligent women and prefer a housewife over a career woman (my dad was an exception, she said). Norman Abjorensen analyses this discriminating reality for well-educated Vietnamese women in his article “Two faces of gender equity in Vietnam” competently. You should give it a read.

International Women’s Day: Be Bold For Change

This years’ International Women’s Day calls for everyone to #BeBoldForChange. “Through meaningful celebration and targeted bold action, we can all be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world.” For example, you can join different events (you can find some on the International Women’s Day Website) or show solidarity on your own terms by going on strikes, supporting women’s businesses and wearing the colour red. Hence, I’ve popped my red lipstick on and carry around my red-lined bag in solidarity of all women around the world. Furthermore, I want to thank the women in my life. I want to share how much I respect my mother for starting her own business in a foreign country. My girlfriends kick ass daily and inspire me to strive for the best. I thank Quiet by Susan Cain for showing me it’s okay to not be loud and forceful. That being introverted doesn’t stop me from being a good leader. Let’s all #BeBoldForChange.

Sunday 5 March: #March4Women