The Future Is Female S01E08: Tracy Aryee Quao

For those of you who know me well, you know that Tracy is my ride or die. She’s nothing less than a sister and a BEST friend who shares similar passions and aspirations to me. We also do a hell of a lot of work together! She’s the Co-Founder of the We Rise Initiative and the Co-Founder of Afroodie (we’re obsessed with food!!). Anyway, before I state everything that’s in her bio at the bottom of this post, here’s episode 8!

fullsizerender-8

(LJS) Hey goat. Thank you for being a part of this!

(TAQ) Hey Queen Laila, anything for you 🙂

LOL JOKES TRACY WOULD NEVER BE THAT NICE.

(TAQ) Hey egg, let’s get started!

(LJS) What does being a 21st century woman mean to you?

(TAQ) It means being proactive. Being able to achieve anything you put your mind to, not taking no for an answer and breaking stereotypes in every way possible. It means often means being a little selfish, meaning, giving yourself time to work on yourself both psychologically and psychically and both in work and outside work. Remaining focused on your goals and essentially shaping your path in order to achieve your goals and not comparing yourself to others, although, the latter is sometimes more difficult as women are often pitted against one another as rivals rather than encouraged to empower and celebrate each other.

(LJS) Preach sister! What barriers have you faced as a woman today?

(TAQ) As a proud black woman you are immediately judged for being just that, ‘a proud black woman’, you are placed into a box, especially as I’m quite vocal and talkative. I’m often labelled as the loud, angry black woman stereotype.

fullsizerender-11

 

Barriers that I have faced has been both racism and sexism, often described as casual sexism but comments such as ‘Grow a pair’ ‘You’re really strong for a girl’ heard in the gym. I sometimes brush off these comments especially sexist comments because I know exactly what I am capable of and do not need validation from others to get there.

(LJS) The “angry black woman” stereotype is the bane of my existence. Do you recognize yourself as a feminist? If so, what type of feminist are you?

(TAQ) Yes, I do. The type that supports the equality of men and women in all corners of society, the type of feminist that loves to lead her own path and take charge of her future without having to be dependent upon the opposite sex but being able to coexist equally. Not a man hating feminist but one that recognizes the unbelievable man made disparities between men and women currently within society.

(LJS) I like that. When did you first recognize the fact that gender inequality exists?

(TAQ) From the age of 10 in boarding school, when upon choosing extra-curricular activities, I was and still am quite sporty and chose climbing, cricket and athletics for one term. Only to be met with by one of the older male pupils when walking into climbing asking ‘Are you sure you are in the right place? Arts and crafts is the in the other building’. That’s the exact moment I knew.

(LJS) Woah. Thank goodness I only came to Bede’s for senior school. If I heard that comment I would’ve run mad. When you’re faced with barriers because of your gender, how do you overcome them?

(TAQ) Honestly yo I was shook! In terms of overcoming gender-related barriers I tend to push past them. You can talk about it all day, but at the end of the day if your actions do not reflect your words, then a lot of the time it is deemed redundant. Also I try to remember and be grateful for the women that broke barriers before us in order for us to be doing the things that women do today.

(LJS) Brilliant. What is your greatest achievement so far?

(TAQ) There’s a few but I really couldn’t pinpoint my greatest, but almost finishing university! Being part of creating the We Rise Initiative, the social enterprise changing the way in which women and feminism is viewed across the world.

12227004_10154392087227846_3979261313702072872_n

(LJS) Yup!! What does “The Future Is Female” mean to you?

(TAQ) Its quite self-explanatory, it isn’t the future ‘will be’ female, it is the future IS female and really there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Women all over the world are taking charge in the best possible way, we aren’t here to hinder the development of men but to change the dialogue and mysterious perceptions surrounding us women, acknowledging HIStory but learning and nurturing HERstory.

Tracy is a 21-year-old Politics and International Relations student in London. Originally from Ghana, Tracy’s social conscience has been enhanced by societal oppressions, which has led her to follow a career path in development. She has just been granted an internship by the United Nations that she will be starting as soon as she graduates and she is the Co-Founder of the We Rise Initiative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s