Interview with Susana Elisa Pavlou, Guest speaker at GA2

What inspired you to pursue your career?

”I don’t think there is one particular person that inspired me. I think that I -through the course of your life- there are many people that come in and sort of lead your or push you along that path. That was probably sort of predetermined, but I would say that they are all women. If I had to point to one person I’d say that it was my mother because she was a fighter who overcame extreme challenges that had a lot to do with gender equality. But I think I always had a strong sense of justice and I came across professors, friends, mentors in my life that were huge inspiration to me. I cannot point to one, except my mum.”

Who’s your role model?

”My mum is my role model. But I’ve got a lot of role models. One example – you know one thing I keep saying to myself and my colleagues- is that women need to be braver and the first woman I heard this from is a radical feminist called Julie Bindel who will be in Cyprus on Wednesday evening talking about prostitution and violence against women and she always says that women need to be braver. I think that a lot of women often do not speak up as well as a lot of men do not speak up about injustice. That’s kind of something I always had in my mind. That we must be braver, I must be braver in order to speak out and take action. This is often associated with risk, that people might disagree with you, people might attack you for your opinions but we must be brave if we want to see change in the world.”

What do you think is the biggest problem women in Cyprus face ?

”That’s a difficult one. Again I can’t give higher priority to such issues. How can I say that violence against women is not as serious as women’s economic independence? I said it in my speech and I’ll say it again all forms of inequality are related. But I would say that something that is a part of all issues is women in decision-making positions in all sectors including political and economic. I think that would have an impact on policy and legislation across the board and benefit women. ”

Any upcoming projects with the Mediterranean institute of Gender Studies?

 ”We have many many many projects. I would say in terms of we always accept volunteers. Mostly our projects have to do with research and raising awareness. But we have public events. One example is the event on the 14th of February 2018 where we have invited a very prominent feminist, Julie Bindel. Everyone is welcome to attend. It’s very important that men and women attend many of these events to raise awareness.”