"Own yourself: You deserve to be where you are and you do not need to apologize"

Voices of Positive Change: “You can’t be what you can’t see” – Marian Wright Edelman

Zahara's Dream Interview with Ana Núñez-Lagos, United States of America

1. What was your first dream as a girl-child?

My first dream was to be a dermatologist.

2. What does Empowerment mean to you?

Empowerment means equal opportunities. It means no pity, it means no charity, it means equity. When you empower, you level the playing field to overcome an inherent imbalance in an unjust system that privileges some over others. It enables the empowered to be the captain of their own destiny by equipping them with the necessary tools to achieve their fullest potential.

3. What does Opportunity mean to you? / what does equal opportunity for women look like to you?

Opportunity are specific tools that one can use to learn and grow. Equal opportunity for women means being treated equally to men on an economic, social and political level.

4. How do you start your day to achieve the objectives you have set for yourself?

I wake up with a clear set of tasks that I have to get done for the day. This gives me deadlines and targets to meet so that I can go to bed at night feeling fulfilled.

5. How can mentoring benefit young women and girls?

Mentoring gives young women and girls the opportunity to learn from senior sisters who have already experienced the same hardships and can share advice on how to overcome hurdles.

6. What would be a piece of advice for young women overcoming social and economic adversity?

Seek support by asking questions. Knowledge and advice can only be shared if the right questions are asked. I would encourage them to widen their network and reach out to family, friends and role models to achieve their goals.

7. How do you manage disruptors/toxicity in your journey?

I try and see adversity as an opportunity for growth. By doing so, I am making sure that these disruptors/toxicity takes me further than where I would have been able to get to without them.

8. How did you survive your greatest fear?

I survived by greatest fear by understanding that everything changes and I do not have control over anything other than myself.

9. How do you turn fear and failure into strength and opportunity?

I use fear as fuel to make me achieve my objectives.

10. What is the best career advice you were given?

Own yourself. You deserve to be where you are and you do not need to apologize. Occupy your space and ensure that you are taking ownership of your work.

11. What is your personal motto?

Have coherence between what you think, say and feel.

12. What would you tell your younger self if you were to meet her now?

Believe in yourself, you will be where you are meant to be need for your growth at that moment in time.

13. What is your advice for young women and young people worldwide?

You are the future generation who will lead this planet, do not wait until a younger generation arrives, be the change you wish to see in the world now.

14. How do we address patriarchy within our society?

By making men and women understand that equality will benefit all of us and that equality, is, in fact, the only sustainable way to live life on our planet.

15. What vision of the future do you see/hold for young women?

My vision is that young women should be able to rely on each other without rivalry to contribute to each other's success.


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