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Sara Soltani - Women of the week

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

I think women's voices are not only important in my field, they are important always and everywhere.

I would not describe my way getting there as a typical or even always straightforward journey. I grew up in a small village in the Western part of Austria between mountains and cows. Everyone in my family was a professional classical musician. Years before I was born, my parents had moved from Iran to Austria to study music and to work as musicians afterwards. I therefore enjoyed a perfect mix of Austrian and Persian culture and education on the one hand and conservative country and progressive city point of views on the other hand. 

Since I always knew that I would like to contribute to a better world (I am aware that this sounds a bit cheesy), I ended up studying cultural and social anthropology, political science and human rights. My studies made me move to several European countries which gave me the opportunity to meet very motivating and open-minded people. I think getting to know international people is one of the most essential ways to empower young men and women. I want to be honest here. Within this working area, it is challenging to be motivated all the time. It can happen that some challenging and hopeless situations leave you discouraged and demotivated. However, meeting strong and empowered people that seriously work hard to make human rights and social justice a reality for everyone, brings me always back on track. Intercultural, international and interdisciplinary exchange is essential for developing your skills and widening your horizon. 

What eventually brought me where I am now, was the fact of choosing my personal role models and powerful women in my life. They believed in me and told me to always be myself. Being oneself does not mean to be stubborn and resilient towards change. It rather means to follow your own way and not to get discouraged by others - this sometimes requires flexibility and adaption skills. Knowing what you enjoy to do is the key. Your strengths and weaknesses you will discover on the way and the only way to overcome the fear of failing, is to actually fail.

I think women's voices are not only important in my field, they are important always and everywhere. We have to empower women and girls, so they can empower other women and girls! This is the only way towards a just and healthy world.

If you would like to be our Woman of the Week or would like to nominate someone, please get in touch. We hope to be able to showcase women from all over the world who are working to promote social justice and women's rights.

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