Journey from Russian Far East across China to France

Ten years ago I graduated from a state university in a provincial town in the Russian Far East. At that time many of my girlfriends in their early twenties were getting ready for marriage and motherhood. I was thirsty for knowledge and ambitious about my career so I decided to leave my hometown and continue my studies abroad. Coming from a Russian family with a moderate income, I always wanted to become an independent successful woman. I was working hard and spend my time researching, reading and learning  four foreign languages. After graduating, I chose a university in Northeastern China where I obtained a government scholarship for a master’s degree in Chinese. My hard work paid off!

Today, I am 30, unmarried and without children. Five years ago I moved to France where I obtained master’s degree from Science Po Paris. Working for the Woman’s Forum, I strive to support women globally. Every day I get more inspired by amazing and empowered women from all over the world. I have my loved one who supports me in all my endeavors and encourages me to reach my potential to the fullest.

My message that goes out to the younger generation of women is – do not worry about social norms and customs of traditional societies that expect you to submit to a man, bear the burden of domestic work and child care or suppress your ambitious and dreams! Have courage and trust in yourself, you are as talented and qualified as men around you!

Oxana, 30, lives in Paris where she works for the Women’s Forum.

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