Fahmia al-Fotih’, SAVE Yemen Coordinator, Sana’a, Yemen
Coming from a tiny village and a normal family that has nothing to do with politics, I was lucky to be awarded a MBI Al Jaber Foundation scholarship to go to London to study International Relations and Politics. It was there in London where I met Dr. Edit and Elisabeth by coincidence in a conference and was introduced to Women Without Borders organization for the first time. This coincidence has turned into a commitment to work with WWB’s counterterrorism initiative, SAVE.
Earlier in my career, I joined media that was a very male-dominated field, yet was like a resort to vent all my angry and rebellious feelings against the injustice and violations of rights women were subject to. From there, I have started building my human rights knowledge and thinking how best I could contribute to my country as a woman. Later, working first with the United Nations Development Program and then with USAID has tremendously engaged me more in development and gender issues where women’s participation is considered a backbone for moving forward. I strongly believe that change can be brought by women.
May da Silva, Director, Women Into Politics, Belfast, Ireland
As feminist, I strive to work for equality for all, irrespective of a person's gender, race or religion. I feel that society should have equality for all or equality for none. This was the motto of one of Northern Ireland's late loyalist politicians, an ex-paramilitary, David Irvine. A terrorist turned politician who advocated that "We cannot choose bits and pieces of equality when it suits us."
My work is not over in Northern Ireland and internationally. I'm very inspired by what I've heard tonight, and to see SAVE now, taking shape with new contributors. I am greatly encouraged to see the potential for this campaign to become global.
I'll finish with a quote of someone who has inspired me, the late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. She once said, "If you think you're too small to have an impact, then try going to bed with a mosquito."