Fearless.Thursday, March 09, 2017
Although I grew up in war torn country in rather traditional environment I stubbornly held my own and fought my way through life against many odds that would usually affect a little girl in my shoes.
At friends birthday party in elementary school I told my friends mom I started playing basketball, she told me that I can hurt myself and that it's a boys game.
I started playing for first, professional team when I was 16.
When I was 15 I told my grandparents that I am planning to go to university in US on basketball scholarship, I was told I am 'dreaming' and that I will never get married.
I was on a plane to US university alone 3 years later with full academic scholarship.
When my parents were spending beyond their means for great quality basketball shoes, our extended family commented that they are spoiling me and that I am having to many activities.
Years later these same family members were collecting media articles about me.
Days after graduating my academic advisors were telling me to stay 'close to basketball' because fashion industry is to competitive and New York is expensive.
I got a job and moved closer to New York a week after graduating.
Few years into working a several jobs I earned a lot. The gossip was that I had money cause I dated a guy from Wall Street.
I left that guy because he was emotionally abusive and he failed me way to many times.
I worked my ass off, built my self-esteem and leadership skills through playing and excelling in sport all while maintaining my Vogue subscription (so no, your daughter will not become manly from playing sports), I spoke up even when I was scared and when it wasn't appropriate, I left abusive relationship, I spent way to much money to maintain long distance relationships, loved to much and made many mistakes, some of which have marked me for life but I would do it all again because it was very much worth of it. I feel like I am equipped now to raise my daughter Anabela to be strong, happy, fearless and independent women.
WHY DO WE FIGHT FOR WOMEN RIGHTS TODAY?
- 1 in 3 women across the world experiencing violence
- Over 700 million women alive today were married when they were under 18, and of those some 250 million were married before they were 15
- Around 1 in 10 (120 million) girls worldwide have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives
- Over 1/3 of women have experienced physical/sexual violence by a partner and/or sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetime
- Globally, women make up just 22% of parliamentarians
- In most countries earning on average 60 - 75% of men’s wages
- Women are spending twice to ten times more time a day on unpaid care work than men