Miss Independence

The 4th of July is a Federal Holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that 13 American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.

The word ‘independence’ has always had a profound impact on me. As a child, I longed to become an adult to find out  what it meant to feel ‘independent’. I guess that’s why, since I moved to the United States in 1996, Independence Day has become my favorite Holiday. Now that I am an ‘independent’ adult, I cherish my autonomy and freedom and never take them for granted, today more then ever, in the light of the  countless and horrific terrorist attacks that aim to make us feel unsafe almost anywhere we go.

Surely war and violence where always part of our history, but you would think that in the 21st century we’d had learnt to live respecting our cultural differences. Instead, we continue to be surrounded by gruesome violence. What’s disturbing to me is that behind the terrorist fanaticism, there are just a few leaders  that brainwash and instigate impressionable minds unleashing their evil actions  uncontrollably like a virus. But I can see this parallelism happening in many areas in our society. Think about the powerful lobbies for example, that can dictate the politics and economics of a nation and even impact the health of our planet and all its living beings. What a creepy and subtle form of violence that is. How do we fight that?

And what about the violence that can be experienced even within our own walls? As a child I witness domestic violence  and I swore to myself that it would never happen to me. It made me a stronger person, determined to find my way and not have anyone push me around.

Domestic violence is still a gruesome problem. In my native Italy for example, the statistics are shocking: almost every day, a woman is killed by her partner or ex. Most of them, seek a life away from their abusive husbands or boyfriends but those once loving hands  deny them the freedom to choose independence. My heart sinks each time I hear such stories in the news.

And as too many women still do not have the chance to choose, I feel so privileged today and every day, to be able to express myself, with my creativity and intellectual capabilities.

And as a women’s advocate, I wish every female could have the chance to empower herself wherever in the world she may be, whatever social and economic conditions she is brought up in. Because it is through women’s empowerment and their independence that I see a glimpse of hope for a better future.  Long gone are the days when we were considered the weakest sex. In the past decades we found ourselves strong and determined, yet still nurturing and loving. We have so much to give still…The world has seen nothing yet.

So I dedicate this Independence Day to all the women out there trying to make a difference, to the fashion pioneers pushing for sustainability and better working conditions, to the scientist and doctors saving lives, to the girls living in underdeveloped countries that have finally been given the opportunity to education, to the multi tasking moms, and to the entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas, to the adventures… may all your actions inspire less fortunate women to dare to dream. Happy Independence Day girls! Keep rocking.

love,

Daniela

Cover photo by Veeterzy

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