Dona Hariri

Every day, women’s fundamental rights are violated. The right to education, health and personal security. The right to equal pay, to own one’s body and not to be exposed to threats and hatred online. Women in the world are struggling to live up to their full potential. More than 100 years ago, women in Sweden fought for their own right to vote.

Women’s rights are not accepted as human rights. Instead, women are a weapon used in war, hardest hit by the lack of access to clean water and sanitation, and subjected to domestic violence. Discriminated in decision-making rooms, questioned when challenging and limited when taking place.

But struggle is also power.

My power comes from women’s struggle. It comes from my mother who persistently tried to give me a childhood in the middle of a burning war. My aunt who is battling cancer which was reduced by healthcare to women-related stress. My aunts who always stand their ground despite a corrupt patriarchy that surrounds them.

It comes from the knowledge that the female body is exposed and women’s health is ignored. The threat online. Racism on the street. The ruling techniques in the boardrooms. My power comes from all women who with great and strong determination have changed their society, their country and the world. Which changes Sweden.

The women around me are my strength and sisterhood is my compass. When it shakes, they are there and remind me to stand up and move forward. Always forward.

The issues women raise throughout history are part of the established society today.