Category Archives: WOMEN’S EQUALITY

International Women’s Day 2023: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from UN Women

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. 


Photo: UN Trust Fund/Phil Borges

The United Nations Observance of IWD recognizes and celebrates the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. IWD 2023 will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. The event will also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.

(continued in right column)

Questions for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

(continued from left column)

Bringing women and other marginalized groups into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs: as per UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report, women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade—a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action. Reversing this trend will require tackling the problem of online violence, which a study of 51 countries revealed 38 per cent of women had personally experienced.

A gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digital education can increase the awareness of women and girls regarding their rights and civic engagement. Advancements in digital technology offer immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges, and to achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. Unfortunately, the opportunities of the digital revolution also present a risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. Growing inequalities are becoming increasingly evident in the context of digital skills and access to technologies, with women being left behind as the result of this digital gender divide. The need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital education is therefore crucial for a sustainable future.

The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, will be marked by a high-level event on Wednesday, 8 March 2023, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST. The event will bring together technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and gender equality activists to provide an opportunity to highlight the role of all stakeholders in improving access to digital tools and be followed by a high-level panel discussion and musical performances.

Hidalgo, Mexico: Networks of Women Peace-Builders created in Apan, Tula and Pachuca

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from News Hidalgo (translation by CPNN)

Within the framework of the Fund for the Well-being and Advancement of Women (FOBAM) of Inmujeres, this year the Hidalguense Institute for Women (IHM) carried out processes of awareness, training and strengthening of municipal and state institutional mechanisms to reduce adolescent pregnancy in 13 municipalities with medium and high adolescent fertility rates and build safe and peaceful spaces in Hidalgo.


Questions related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

Three Networks of Women Peace-Builders (MUCPAZ) were created in Apan, Tula de Allende and Pachuca, strategic municipalities for the reconstruction of the social fabric. These citizen networks are made up of women from the community or municipalities who help with government agencies in the prevention of gender violence. Their strategies include to identify risk factors, detect possible situations in a timely manner violence, promote equality between women and men, help create environments free of violence and promote a culture of peace.

The members of the MUCPAZ networks include women regardless of whether or not they have schooled and they may speak Spanish or an indigenous language; They are survivors of gender violence, they know their communities, they know what the main problems are, and they have the capacity to create alternatives, solutions, and actions to transform their realities.

Both the women members of the networks and the civil servants of the participating municipalities received training workshops on peace, gender equality and prevention of violence against women.

With the advice and technical support of the IHM, they prepared a community action plan with the components of recovery, appropriation and new ways of living together. The plan was presented to the community in a public forum.

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Rachna Sharma: thought leader for world peace

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

Special to CPNN by Jalsut Luthra

Rachna Sharma, the founder of Phuro Innovations (India) is a popular political peace expert, social entrepreneur and speaker. 

It was her journey at Harvard Business School that gave her the clarity to articulate her purpose, a place where people empower and peel the onion of self-awareness. That is the most profound thing that ever happened to Rachna. Since then she has been contributing as a thought leader for world peace. 

Rachna has compiled her views and supported them with published research about the nations which received freedom around the same time as India, and how those countries rank on the global indices of Peace. She shows how these nations lifted themselves out of poverty and conflict, and how they participated in global institutions and campaigns to benefit their people. 

World Peace is a very wide subject and one has to take up pressing issues as goals and contribute to it. That is why this year she is focused on South Asia. 

(Continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

(Continued from left column)

Honours, Awards & Volunteer Work

Rachna was recognized as “LinkedIn Power Profile – Social Impact in 2018” making her amongst the top 73 profiles in India. Rachna has co-authored a book “Globalization and Voices from Indian Practitioners” in 2013 . Rachna also volunteered as ambassador for Pashmina Goat Project of Kashmir Ink foundation. She has volunteered and served on the Board of Gift Foundation an initiative of Mr. Sam Beard who in the capacity of public affairs advisor served several US Presidents from former Presidents Nixon, Ford, Clinton, Regan & Bush 

Rachna was born in Kishtwar Jammu & Kashmir, one of the most conflicted geographies in the world. It was her early life exposure to conflict which launched her interest in world peace.

Amidst the turmoil and migration in Jammu and Kschmir, Rachna finished her Bachelors in Hotel Management from Srinivas University in Mangalore Karnataka India. She began working In India’s tourism and hospitality industry in 2002 and served the industry till 2014. At that point she was a development director in India. 

In 2019, Rachna established Phuro Innovations to promote and further her cause of World Peace by adopting a project called “Political Peace Dialogue SAARC” (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

The project celebrates United Nations World Peace Day, UN Peacekeeping Day and Peace Education by hosting awareness events, publishing articles, research papers, policy notes, and delivering small projects. Rachna created and delivered several prototypes in India as mentioned in Timeline  and proposed a Venn diagram of Peace   in the capacity of a Thought Leader. She co-chairs the India Chapter for Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs India since 2019, promoting innovation and leadership in India. 

Please read this article in Outlook Magazine  about her work in South Asia.

Russian mothers oppose the war

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Meduza

The Council of Wives and Mothers is a grassroots organization uniting women whose family members serve in the Russian military. Its leaders were understandably surprised when they heard about the President Putin’s planned meeting with several military mothers; not a single member of their group was invited.


photo of meeting from BBC

Council organizer Olga Tsukanova responded with video where she insists that the president should meet with “real mothers,” as opposed to the “tame” women Kremlin bureaucrats “hand-picked” for the occasion:

Vladimir Vladimirovich, are you a man or what? Do you have enough courage to look into our eyes — openly, in a meeting with women who weren’t hand-picked for you. Women who aren’t in your pocket, but real mothers who have traveled here from different cities at their own expense to meet with you? We are here, in Moscow, and we are ready to meet with you. We expect an answer from you! Are you going to keep hiding from us? We have men in the Defense Ministry, in the Military Prosecutor’s Office, in the Presidential Administration — it’s all men, including the president. And mothers are on the other side of the divide. Well, are you all going to come out for some dialogue — or will you just stay in hiding?

(Article continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Article continued from left column)

On November 22, citing Kremlin sources, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported that Putin will meet with a group of military mothers on November 27, when Russia celebrates Mother’s Day. One of the sources said that Putin plans to discuss combat operations. When asked to confirm this information, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed the report.

Valentina Melnikova, the secretary of the Union of Mothers’ Councils, told the Russian publication Verstka that no one at her advocacy organization has been invited to the meeting with the president. “If they invite us, we’ll think about it. What are we to talk about with Putin? We’re a peacemaking organization,” she said.

An unnamed Kremlin source told Verstka that the authorities are now considering the possible creation of an alternative, state-sponsored “patriotic” military mothers’ movement. This information is still unverified, however.

Since late October, soldiers’ family members in 15 regions across Russia have staged protests demanding the return of their loved ones from Ukraine and humane treatment for the soldiers while they’re in the army.

(Editor’s note: Meduza was one of the independent media in Russia that published accounts of opposition to the war in Ukraine when it was started. As a result they were shut down in Russia and have had to reopen abroad, as shown by their internet domain of “Indian ocean.” Among other articles recently in Meduza are More than 90,000 Russian troops lost in war and Russians are tired of the war.)

Women from Chile and Bolivia meet in La Paz to build a “neighbor friendship”

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article by Pagina Siete

This Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4, women from Chile and Bolivia will meet in the first meeting of the group “Bolivia-Chile Group: women building neighbor friendship.” The event will be held in the city of La Paz.


The Bolivian and Chilean flags. Telesur

This initiative emerged in May 2021 as a civil society group, characterized by plurality and united by the conviction of the importance of incorporating the voice and thought of women in international politics, according to the group.

(article continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions related to this article:
 
Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

(article continued from left column)

During the session on Thursday, the challenges of regional integration and the need to open paths of good neighborliness, based on a culture of peace and binational cooperation, will be analyzed.

Friday’s program includes a panel on Feminist Foreign Policy, which will be held at the Universidad Nuestra Señora de la Paz and will include the participation of the Ambassador of Mexico, María Teresa Mercado, and the Ambassador of Spain, Javier Gassó Matoses.

For this occasion, the Deputy Minister of Institutional and Consular Management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, Eva Chuquimia, and the Consul General of Chile in La Paz, Fernando Velasco, will be present.

The binational meeting has the support of the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile, the San Simón de Cochabamba University and the Nuestra Señora de la Paz University, in addition to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation based in both countries.

The inauguration will be broadcast through the Zoom platform, whose registration link is enabled in this link.

Chambéry, France: locks of hair in solidarity with the women of Iran

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from France 3

There were a hundred women in the center of Chambéry who came and cut a lock of hair in solidarity with the women of Iran. These locks, also collected this Saturday in Grenoble and Lyon, will be sent to the Iranian Embassy.

The women of Chambéry “want it to be known: we are in solidarity, in sorority” with the women of Iran, who “fight to be free” and have been demonstrating since the death. of young Masha in a police station in Tehran.


The locks of hair will be sent to the Iranian Embassy. • © France 3 Alps

They are a hundred who have responded to the call of the League of Human Rights, but also of the CGT, the PCF, EELV, the PS of Savoie, Amnesty International and the Mouvement de la Paix.

(continued in right column)

(Click here for the original French version.)

Questions for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

(continued from left column)

For the representative of Mouvement de la Paix in Savoie, Laurette Mugnier, “it’s nothing compared to all that these women have endured for so long, in Iran but not only. We also think of the Afghan women who are fighting against the Taliban, the little girls who cannot go to school. At the Mouvement de la Paix we demand that a culture of peace be promoted at the call of the UN. We can’t just watch them fight alone in Iran. The support of the people is important for those who are fighting.”

Singing in Persian, they sing Bella Ciao, the song of Italian partisans and resistance fighters during the Second World War. And on the steps of the town hall, a mauve cloth collects locks of long hair, short hair, from women and men, of all ages. “They will be sent to the Iranian Embassy,” promises Marc Pascal, ecologist and member of the “all migrants” collective. “And the same symbol is used in other cities: the embassy should receive hair from many places in France”.

Already practiced at the beginning of the week by actresses, the gesture has caught on. Marc Pascal insists that “It’s not just a symbol. That people agree to come and undermine their physical integrity by cutting their hair is a strong gesture that says that we are physically committed, that it is important”.

The same demonstration was organized Saturday morning, in Lyon. And in the afternoon, in Grenoble.

The Search for the Exceptional Women of Peace Award: A Reflection

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article by Genevieve Balance-Kupang in Pressenza

On September 13, 2022, Pathways to Peace honored eight women peace awardees, the Exceptional Young Women of Peace [EYWP] and the Exceptional Women of Peace [EWP] to commemorate the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 1999.

Out of the 30 nominees, from different parts of the globe, eight were awarded– Emma DeBiase, Nina Meyerhof, Hortense Minishi, Lois Nicolai, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Rebecca Turay, Catherine Volk, and Salma Yusuf.


Awardees: Clockwise- Nina Meyerhof, Catherine Volk, Hortense Minishi, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Lois Nicolai, and Emma DeBiase.

Pathways to Peace is grateful for the presence and words of wisdom of our keynote speaker Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury.

I was privileged to be part of the EWP Leadership Team (LT) who read all the entries and selected the winners. Below is my reflection on the search process.

I would like to express my profound admiration and infinite gratitude to Pathways to Peace for its commitment to creating positive change and building lasting peace. Joining the Leadership Team was a tough yet invigorating task and an exciting adventure as we welcomed the nominees, read, and learned about their unique stories, and rated and deliberated the finalists.

I have learned through our peace work that the spirituality of celebration gives joy and bliss to those who participate in it. The campaign period, selection process, and eventually the recognition of the uplifting and life-giving works of women peacebuilders add value to their bravery, transformational leadership, and staunchness to the work of peace. Indeed, these women are beacons of strength and hope as Kimberly Weichel puts it.

Kudos to Pathways to Peace Executive Director Tezikiah (Tez) Gabriel, Project Lead Kimberly Weichel, and other fellow leadership team members Natasha Singh-Ally from South Africa, and Asha Asokan from India. It is a joy and pleasure knowing you, discussing and deliberating with you, and working with you for the advancement of the culture of dialogue and peace.

To read, re-read, or even watch and learn about the unique, touching, inspiring narratives of incredible women peace advocates from all over the world is like basking in the drapery of light of the vivacious grandfather sun glowing with its radiance giving hope, pacifying frightened and traumatized embodied souls. The stories of these women nominees are speaking to me saying “It is another day to shine,” Go, my lady, be not afraid, continue to get involved in recovery, in healing, in vivifying other beings by reconnecting and restoring.” Their narratives warm my heart so intimately that I am moved to do more and work with others with my divine core.

It is like listening to the chorus of the early morning chuckles of birds, chickens, and insects; it is like being a flower on a garden bed being taken care of by a loving and caring gardener. I felt the “authenticity” of the women advocates who were nominated, and amid the challenges we are experiencing like the covid19 pandemic, living in tents among refugees, among others, these women are up, working for their families and communities.

(Article continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

(Article continued from left column)

Many always say “to be nominated is an honor in itself.” I, therefore, congratulate all the nominees from many parts of the globe. Some have experienced the trauma of war and violence themselves. Some have transcended the scourge of poverty and lack of opportunities. Some have realized early on in their life, that peacebuilding is their calling and what gives meaning to their existence. And some are human rights, environmental and peace advocates, and interreligious dialogue practitioners. Some are widows and single moms who, in spite of their situations, find time to help others and work for peace and interbeing. Some have experienced great challenges like the lack of economic resources, but they have shown that collaboration and boldness to seek help from others will keep the peace work moving.

Some worked for peace for more than 40 years, or less, but they are known to have spent their energy and resources for the cause of peace. So, hurray, and my hats off to the following women: Pea Horsley, Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Nina Meyerhof, Dot Maver, Kat Haber, Barbara Condron, Monica Willard, Teri Miller, Pam Ahern, Caroline Myss, Aïssatou Adamou, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Hortense Minishi, Genevieve Balance Kupang, Maritza Adonis, Khadija Arfaoui, Najla Al-Sheikh, Maha Awn, Omam Espe Njomo (Esther), Somaia Alhosam, Lois Nicolai, Rabab Fatima, Elizabeth Sheridan, Martiza Adonis, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Salma Yusuf, Catherine Wolk, Emma De Biase, and Rebecca Turay.

Here are some lines that struck me as a reader of their narratives:

“I lost my son and his wife to gruesome killings. Nonetheless, I do not believe in the death penalty… Killing another person is not a solution to crimes done by lawbreakers…”

“I am you; you are me, there is no other.”

“I was bullied as a child…many drops of water form a mighty ocean. I believe our working together can bring about a large ocean of change…”

“I am a child of war. My family was displaced because of armed conflict. But we were able to lead thousands of volunteers to enhance security and stability, supporting women entrepreneurs, and working towards peace and development.”

“Joy is a special wisdom. Taking a long view in both directions of this remarkable human journey offers an assurance that we have free will and as conscious beings will ultimately choose light and love over destruction and violence. The challenges are seen and experienced like blades of grass growing up through cement.”

“We are invigorated in performing land blessings, planting peace poles, and infusing the world with the energy of peace. We are convinced that peace is possible. We all must do our part and become part of the solution.”

There were many precious words that were shared that cannot be captured in one article. Watch the awarding ceremony that honored these women and listen more to their words of wisdom on building peace. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1SjGSQOH5M.

Mabuhay ang lahat ng nanalo (Long live to the winners), finalists, nominees, and all peace advocates in the world. Long live all people of goodwill!

About the Author:

Genevieve Balance Kupang (Genie) is an anthropologist, consultant, researcher, and advisor to individuals and organizations engaged in working for good governance, genuine leadership, justice, integrity of creation, peace, the indigenous peoples, preservation of cultures, and societal transformation processes. She is a peace educator, author, interreligious dialogue practitioner, and resource person with a career in the academe and NGO.

UNGA77: Aisha Buhari advocates inclusion of peace education in African schools

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Sun News On Line

The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has advocated for the mandatory inclusion of peace education in the curriculum of basic education in African schools in order to promote a culture of peace on the continent.

She made the call at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings”.

The High Level event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Mrs Buhari, the President of AFLPM, who spoke virtually, said she it was necessary to include peace education in curriculum because of the peculiarity of conflicts in Africa.

“I made a case for the mandatory inclusion of “peace education” as an essential subject in the curriculum of Basic Education of schools in Africa, during the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in May, 2022.

“I am happy to report that the initiative was well received,’’ she said.

Mrs. Buhari called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to do the same as core partners and implementers of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda (UNESCO)

She stated that she has extended a similar call to UNESCO, in consultation with other entities and partners, to consider developing a universal curriculum on gender, peace, and security education for all schools as a way of putting Resolution 1325 into action.

The Nigerian First Lady noted that the event coincided with the 22 years anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, and subsequently, nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.

Mrs Buhari added that it was also significant that these historic resolutions on the preeminence of women and girls in peace-building, peace-making, and peace-keeping processes were adopted in this great city of New York.

(Article continued in right column)

Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

(Article continued from left column)

“We are meeting at a time of heightened tension and conflict in all regions of the world.

“Therefore, it is time for women and their organisations to step up their contribution to the cause of peace and justice, and for the international community to attach greater value to the special voices of women in the peace process.’’

According to her, as a guardian and partner in the struggle for African Peace, the challenge is even greater “for our 12 year-old institution to rise and insist that women’s priorities are central to peace and security policy, at all levels.”

She added that “it is evident that violent conflict takes its greatest toll on women and girls, although we form more than half of the world’s population.

“In conflict situations, we are pre-disposed to the double jeopardy of horror and gender injustice in various forms.

“Already, there is a wide deficit in the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to limited access to healthcare, welfare services, economic opportunities and political participation by women and girls in Africa,” she said.

In a continent plagued by widespread disorder and state fragility, she said our individual countries were more than ever before faced with alarming ratios of maternal and child mortality.

“Besides death, injury and displacement, conflict destroys infrastructure, undermines  social ties, and reduces the capacity of states to deliver on the development agenda promised the African electorate.

“Our vital resources are increasingly being diverted to put out the fire at various battle across Africa – from the Sahel, to the Oceans,” she said.

Mrs Buhari said it was in the face of these difficulties that women had proved their peculiar skills-set as peace agents in conflict situations although this role has largely been ignored.

The First Lady said accepting and integrating the unique experience, capability and particularity of women into all aspects of the peace and security sector was therefore essential for the success of each of the components of our peace efforts.

“To achieve this and other goals, the social, cultural and political barriers that limit women’s full participation in achieving sustainable peace should therefore be addressed with renewed tempo.

“Happily, follow-up UN Security Council Resolutions 2242 have provided for “measures and standards” with which to monitor the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security mandates”, among others,’’ the First Lady said.

The Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and his wife; the wife of the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mrs Florence Egopija, Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, wife of Plateau state Governor, Mrs Regina Lalong, were among those that attended the event.

Kazakhstan: Congress of World and Traditional Religious Leaders to Address Social Status of Women

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Astana Times

The seventh Congress of World and Traditional Religious Leaders, scheduled for Sept. 14 – 15, will hold a special session devoted to the social status of women for the first time in the congress’s 20-year history, reported the congress’s press service on Sept. 8.  (The Congress will take place in Kazakhstan’s capitol Nur-Sultan, which was renamed in 2019 from its traditional name of Astana).

The session will focus on women’s contributions to the sustainable development of modern society. It will also address the role of religious communities in advancing women’s social position.

(continued in right column)

Questions for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

(continued from left column)

The speakers of this meeting include several prominent religious and public figures such as Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States for Social Affairs Haifa Abu Ghazal, Bishop of Los Angeles and Metropolitan of Southern California and Hawaii of the Coptic Orthodox Church Serapion, Head of the Center for the Study of Islamic History Mahmud Erol Kilic, Art and Culture at the OIC (IRCICA), General Director of the Office of the UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence Afra Mohammed al-Sabri, Chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan Grand Mufti Nuriddin Kholiknazarov, President of the UniãoPlanetária Isis Maria Borges de Resende, and President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide Jonathan Aitken. 

The congress, which will focus on the role of leaders of the world and traditional religions in mankind’s spiritual and social development in the post-pandemic period, is expected to gather more than 100 delegations from 50 countries. Among them are representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and other religions, including the Head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, and Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. 

As part of his visit, Pope Francis will conduct an open-air holy mass  for Roman Catholics and representatives of other religions and confessions on Sept. 14 at the EXPO square. 

Mexico: First “Festival of the Heroines of Independence”

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Page 3 (translation by CPNN)

From 5 to On September 11, the “First Festival of the Heroines of Independence” will be held in the City of Oaxaca. It will contribute to the construction of a culture of peace by recognizing the women who, with their effort, courage and even with their lives, have contributed to the foundation of our country.

Music, theater, history, cinema, poetry and gastronomy will serve as vehicles to pay tribute and make visible the women who have been systematically erased from the history of Mexico.

At a press conference to publicize this Festival, the general director of the “Las Heroínas” Collective, Martha Toledo Mar, explained that the idea of ​​the project arose as a result of the Bicentennial Celebration of the Independence of Mexico, which only gave tribute to heroic men.

“There we realized that there was a deep historical void in the psyche of the Mexican people; It is not that those who write the history books forgot, it is not something free, it is on purpose, it is a matter of the system, of the patriarchy, ”she remarked.

This Festival, said Toledo Mar, seeks to recognize all those women with names and surnames. She mentioned that there is a record of more than 50 women who fought for independence, however, the majority of the population only remembers two: Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez and Leona Vicario.

“We believe that for a culture of peace to exist, it is necessary to recognize and give the place that corresponds to each of these women and thus reduce the historical debt. We firmly believe that what is not named, does not exist”, underlined Martha Toledo Mar. And she added that precisely for this reason, on this occasion the Festival will pay tribute in life to the historian, researcher and activist Margarita Dalton.

In a subsequent interview, the co-director of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity, Yésica Sánchez Maya, stressed that it is essential for this organization to continue to influence the visibility of all the contributions of women in all structures of society; hence, she pointed out, the importance of this artistic project by Martha Toledo Mar.

“This festival seemed like a fundamental proposal to us because historically we have been unrecognized, always made invisible. This exercise of women for women is a long-term commitment to the construction of peace that seeks to generate new ways of recognizing and dignifying, through the arts, singing and creativity, to those women who were not recognized at the time,” he said.

In this sense, Sánchez Maya welcomed the support of the municipality of Oaxaca de Juárez for making available public spaces where some of the activities will take place. This will make art and culture more accessible for Oaxacans.

(continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish version.)

Questions for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

(continued from left column)

For her part, Rocío Morales, singer-songwriter and cultural manager added: “telling a story in a song is a challenge. This is documented in the book Addicted to the Insurgency by Celia Palacios which makes known and honors the women whom history does not mention.

Similarly, Jade Midori, an Oaxacan plastic artist, remarked: “I think it is very important to make women visible within social movements, not only on commemorative historical dates such as Independence, but also within historical and contemporary social struggles.”

The women to be honored by artists are:

Tonena,
Leticia Gallardo,
Martha ToledoMar,
Olympia Silvavarez,
Anastasia Sonaranda,
Evelyn Acosta,
Rosalia Leon,
Dolores Sanjuan,
Ana Diaz,
Coyolicatzin,
Reina Valenzuela,
astrid hadad,
Olinka,
Violet Parrandera,
Athena Ochoa,
Salma Corres,
Nancy Zamer
Elo Vit,
Rocio Morales and
Akna.

Toledo Mar explained that through her music, the participants will honor:

Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez,
Leona Vicar,
Gertrudis Bocanegra,
Maria Ignacia “La Güera Rodríguez”,
Altagracia Market,
Maria Manuela Medina “The Captain”,
Mariana Rodriguez del Toro
Luisa Martinez,
Antonia Nava from Catalan “La Generala”,
Rita Perez de Moreno,
The Women of Miahuatlan,
Rafaela Lopez Aguado,
Cecilia Villareal,
Maria Josepha Martinez,
Manuela Herrera and
Anonymous heroines.

As part of this Festival, two plays will also be developed at the “Juárez” Theater by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Novohispano and the Compañía de Teatro “Lola Bravo”, in addition to 3 conferences by historians Margarita Dalton, Rebeca Orozco and Celia del Palacio; a round table, four projections of historical films and the presentation of three commemorative murals. Poetry readings, literary gatherings and themed dinners are also planned.

The “Las heroínas” Collective is made up of the Zapotec singer-songwriter and priestess Rocío Morales, the decimist and former Goddess Centéotl, Evelin Acosta, the singer and cultural manager Nohemí Mondragón, and the singer-songwriter and composer Anastasia Sonaranda.
It also includes the composer and visual artist José Luis Guzmán Wolffer, the playwright and actor Francisco Hernández, the marketer and activist Lalo Lara and the coordinator of the Institutional Program for the Culture of Peace of the Autonomous University “Benito Juárez” of Oaxaca (UABJO), Leticia Cruz Lopez.