Alex Albert: Interview
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Name, pronouns, career/job title?
She, her / Development Associate at Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)
How has being a feminist / (if applicable woman) impacted your life thus far?
Being a feminist has made me very conscious of the issues that women still face even in 2019. Traditional gender roles are very much still part of society. From seemingly small things like a woman paying for her half of the check (yes, this is still shocking to men) to larger things like women being in top leadership roles, gender equality (or the lack thereof) can be seen in so many parts of life. For more progress to be made, I believe we must approach gender equality issues through an intersectional lens to get everyone on the same page. That is key to the advancing of feminist agenda.
How has being a feminist / (if applicable women) specifically impacted your career?
Being a feminist has allowed me to seek out opportunities that allow women’s voices to be heard and prioritize women’s health. A couple of great organizations that have helped guide my career aspirations include: the MAP Foundation in Thailand which supports migrant workers (especially women’s) health, Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA which caters to Atlanta’s underserved and impoverished communities, and Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders which includes women’s health needs in their international priorities.
In your opinion, what are the most prominent challenges facing women today?
There are so many challenges that women still face. A large problem is the pay gap that continues to exist between men and women as well as equal representation in politics. Women have made great strides this year in the political arena but in the equal pay department, there’s work to be done to break the glass ceiling.
In your opinion, what are the most prominent challenges facing underrepresented groups as a whole today? (i.e. racial minorities, those with physical and cognitive disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, etc.)
As a nation, we struggle to acknowledge the health disparities that exist within these communities. These health disparities (mainly chronic diseases) are amplified for women who are POC due to so many factors (poor provider-patient relationship, late detection, socioeconomic status, etc). Until we can acknowledge this gap, we will always see these largely preventable health conditions in underrepresented groups.
What is of your utmost priority in terms of social justice and/ or politics currently?
In working with SHE, my utmost priority in social justice currently is advocating for the basic health needs and basic rights to education and health for women and girls in Rwanda and worldwide. Absenteeism is a large issue to tackle and there are so many reasons why girls and women may be absent from school and work. Focusing in on MHM is timely and relevant now that more people are talking about period, menstruation, and basic health needs openly. I’m very excited to be a part of something that can result in large scale change by spreading awareness and taking action in a local, sustainable, way.
Please describe your political and/ or social activism:
As a millennial, social media is everything. Even liking a post, tagging, reposting, and sharing can make a huge wave in this internet generation. In my opinion, a large part of activism is educating yourself on what it is exactly that you are advocating for. Activism isn’t solely about protesting or mobilizing in large numbers. It also includes the pre-work like reading/keep up to date with the socio-political climate. Since SHE works on a very specific MHM advocacy, it is important to me that I use social platforms to make a case for the importance of MHM, underserved people, and overlooked issues.
What do you encourage others to take part in, in order to make their communities more socially and politically inclusive?
Volunteering! Volunteering and being active in the community in which you live will give you a better grasp of what work has been done and what issues you can try to contribute to.