Fran Ogilvie Vaeza: Feminist Activist

In Fran Ogilvie Vaeza’s 20 years of life, she has lived in seven countries. Her mother, Maria Noel Vaeza, works for United Nations Women and was Ogilvie Vaeza’s role model growing up. Her mother always worked, and her father stayed at home; she stated that growing up with an active, powerful, and successful mother allowed her to develop a feminist perspective. 

“When my parents first had me and they became parents for the first time, they both worked but my mom’s career was more promising and she was more excited about her career. So they decided together that that’s what they would do, and my mom decided in these past years that she has had a tremendous amount of success,” Vaeza explained. 

Ogilvie Vaeza, a Junior business major focusing on organizational behavior, decided to bring the UN feminist movement, He for She, to BU. She started the club her freshman year and it became an officially registered organization this time a year ago. She believes involvement in this group will be beneficial to our world and community as this generation of students advances toward their careers.

“I think doing He for She and having conversations with people our age means that the next generation going into the workforce is going to be equipped with this information and are hopefully going to make decisions and lead with this knowledge.” 

As the founder and president of the organization, Ogilvie Vaeza is getting a great start on making decisions and leading. She is also a true advocate for equality, supporting gay, transgender, and nonbinary rights. Her feminist perspective and personal connections led her to realize that the name of the movement and organization –– which was founded in 2014 –– has its limitations. 

“One of my really good friends is a nonbinary person and they and I had a conversation about this because the club itself is called He for She... The rights of LGBTQ have changed and progressed in these three years, [and] I don’t think the name is as appropriate as I wish it was, but it’s just a name for now,” Vaeza says.

Despite the fact that, in some ways, the United States is behind in equality, Ogilvie Vaeza is optimistic that equal rights will prevail within the next few decades and she hopes to begin with her involvement in the club. A worldly and accepting person, she believes BU’s diverse community is to the benefit of the organization, and she hopes that it will expand, partner with other groups, and grow. 

“My goal is for He for She to continue engaging and collaborating with other BU organizations... I’m hoping that the things BU He For She does is engaging with other students, having difficult conversations, doing activities, [and] workshops… whatever it is that is going to help educate our peers.”