(VIDEO AND TEXT) Aurélie Salvaire’s book ‘Balance the World’ launched at AFK

M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: Conference Room of Alliance Française (French Cultural Centre) de Karachi was the venue where Barcelona-based French social entrepreneur and author Amélie Salvaire introduced her book Balance the World: Tactics to Help you Launch a Gender Revolution!

This book is a feminist guide for millenials gathering international projects aiming at balancing the world. Its digital version can be downloaded for free. Those interested can also buy the print version of the book on the website: http://www.shiftbalance.org/book/

While launching her book Balance the World (published by Amazon) here at Alliance Française (French Cultural Centre) de Karachi she talked exclusively to Newspakistan.tv (official partner BBCNEWS):

Q: Why Social Entrepreneurship?

A: I grew-up in a small village in the South of France. And I think I have been following a very traditional path like going to business school etc.

I moved to Spain because I wanted to have more quality life, somehow. And little by little I moved towards social entrepreneurship and realized that I wanted to be one of the persons changing the world. So it has been a progressive journey.

I wanted to work on the topic of gender equality because it is definitely touching me as a woman.   

My father, my grandfather and grandmothers were extraordinarily caring. But they were also showing some imbalance in the way they would treat other women, in society.

Me! I was the good girl, somehow. You know, I was the granddaughter… studying well etc. But the other women were not so privileged.

Q: In Pakistan powerful women (too) exploit the weak!

A: Power system is protecting the powerful. And that’s how the power system works.

Q: Why heart and roses on the cover (of the book ‘Balance the World…)?

A: It is heart and roses because the message is caring from the heart. It is not a message of war. It is a message of love. And it is also a tribute to the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo!

Q: Ideal situation and tactics suggested!

A: Ideal situation is quite simple: it is that half of our institutions are run by women and half and half of our homes are run by men. It is as simple as that. It is balance!

All the tactics are non-violent tactics: it can be humor, it can be infiltrate, it can be quotas, it can be boycott… There are many tactics that is listed in the book to actually contribute to a more balanced world.

Q: Organisation run by you?

A: My work is my own organization. Shift Balance is my own NGO registered in Spain. And we organize different workshops, training and talks in Pakistan as well as in other countries.

Q: Why Pakistan?

A: Because, I was invited here one year and half year ago. Because, in terms of gender equality Pakistan is second last in the world. But more than this, when I talk to the young generation they are very eager to hear this message. They want to know more about it. And I feel like the new generation wants more balance between men and women

Q: Is your message different for Pakistanis?

A: Not really! I Because I do the same in Spain, in France…after Pakistan I am going to Australia, I will do the same. So I don’t have any savior face when I come here. It is like I teach the young generation everywhere and I use what I learn here to teach people in the West and vice versa. T tell people here that the West is not perfect definitely. And to tell people there that there are actually a lot of people here changing the things.

Q: You mentioned China in your talk!

A: Because we were talking about how the people who come to any country change the stories and the myths and the power system. So, you know that China will play a really big role in the coming years in Pakistan. I think that will probably have an influence on gender (equality).

Q: Do you know that there is no Pakistani woman working for CPEC projects?

A: I am not very surprised to hear that. I am not saying that it is going to change for the better. I never imply that.

Q: West is responsible for backwardness of women?

A: The West has its responsibility in many countries in taking the situation of the women backwards definitely. But as much I can’t blame you for the politics of Pakistan, it is hard to blame me for the politics of the West!