Smart Growth Workshop in Lycksele

28 May 2018: 5am we got up early heading to the airport from Stockholm to Umea and taking a bus for 1.45 hour to Lycksele for a 3-day idea development workshop on the theme of Smart Growth . There was so much travelling plus jet lag that I passed out and missed dinner with everyone. But I was so inspired by sustainable and gender equality practice that Iam seriously considering moving to non-profit sector from – traditional business.

First, we enjoyed the speech by the social entrepreneur Nicola Eriksson Fackel of Yawama of Sweden (FYI: the lady on the left with the big earing on). She is having a project in which women in her country Zambia knit and make stuffed animals for children.

In Zambia and many African countries, poverty is still existent. Our guest speaker shared a story in which she saw a women using the mosquito nets to protect the food instead of their children from mosquito bites. Being able to learn some extra money (which may be nothing to many of us) means a bit less suffering from poverty and a bit more protection for their children. Beyond profitability, I feel that her business was originated from her passionate love for her children and she wishes that women in her country could give their children better care.

Second, everyone was divided into groups to work on new business ideas that focus on sustainability and I had the chance to work on “gender equality in practice” with 4 teachers from Umea. We decided to develop a mobile game that promotes education for children and parents. Our mission is to break down gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles to empower all children to develop self-confidence and self- worth. We are having a pitch and a presentation on 31th May 2018 on our projects, which will be on the next blog post 😊

I just realized that no country in the world has perfect gender equality even in the most developed countries like Sweden. Naturally, women somehow have always remained inferior to men. However, I believe the inferiority does not come from the differences between men and women but from perceptions in people’s mind that have persisted for years

This is a case of discrimination of mine  3 years ago when I got an investment job in a big commercial bank in my country (Vietnam). I was literally told not to get pregnant within the first two years at work because they would blame my child would for making me unproductive. I said yes last time….not because I would be willing to sacrifice my child, at that time I would know for sure that my plan for a baby was longer than 2 years 😊.  

Women can do everything that men can do if they try really hard, but there is something that men would never be able to replace women, which is giving birth and being mothers. Only women can complete the task to ensure “sustainability” for human beings. Definitely, both men and women have to “participate” in the task but nowadays having children has become a choice not an instinct. Therefore, instead of having any kind of discrimination, women should be rewarded, cherished, encouraged, respected for doing the thing that was specifically, exclusively appointed by God.

(P.S: this is my thought, not reflected from any source of bibles)