Time For Equality’s founder and president, Rosa Brignone, was invited as one of the storytellers at the third anniversary of Hub Dot Luxembourg, and shared this story:
“It is time for women to stop being politely angry”. This if one of my favourite quotes, by Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Don’t you agree? Women tend not to be heard, we are expected to be polite, not to raise our voice.
Since I was a child, I have been concerned with the weaker, the disadvantaged, ready to defend, support and speak up for others. I was passionate for equity and justice and, most importantly, I believed that you always need to take sides, to stand up for what you care about.
As a young woman, I valued intellectual and economic independence above all.
After leaving Italy, I had a long and rewarding career in the European Parliament, an institution I was proud to work for. It was a period of personal and professional growth, in line with my values and ideals.
If you look at the screen of my PC at any time, you will often see many windows open. This is typically me: I am curious, looking for more, opening doors again and again. But to follow the “red thread” in your life, you must also learn to close doors.
In 2013 I resigned from the European Parliament. I left what had eventually become a golden cage. It was not an easy decision, but it became inevitable to me. There are values that are not negotiable.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”.
This quote by Nelson Mandela struck me with its simple truth at this critical moment. Yes, I could use my head and my heart for the values I believe in, equality and social justice, and do it here and now, in real life and with real people.
With a few friends I launched Time For Equality. It is a new start, but in fact there is continuity. Looking back, I clearly see the red thread.
My unfulfilled aspiration was to become an “avvocata” – a lawyer – to be able to defend people and causes. I never became one. However, the Italian word has a second meaning, and only recently I realized that it is exactly what I can do with Time For Equality, being an advocate.
Therefore I am sharing this story with you today. My name is Rosa, and as an advocate I hope to inspire you to pay attention and listen, listen to the voice of people who are invisible and silenced, and to take action. It’s time for change, time for equality.”