The Catita’s spirit: Education changes Mexican women’s destiny.
This article was written as a compulsory assignment for the Voices of Our Future Contest http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/voices-of-our-future
One year ago, my Grandma Catita passed away. She never had the chance to learn how to read or write. Nevertheless, she is acknowledged as the most clever and intelligent women in the family. Catita had an amazing memory, something any historian would envy; the most contagious guffaw; and, 17 children being raised in the worst poverty imaginable. Envisioning education as the most important issue in life, she managed to raise 13 of them. Often, they had nothing to eat, but tortillas*. They went to school in the morning and worked as laborers or shepherds in the afternoon. Thanks to education, my dad became one of the first computer engineers in Mexico. Two generations from Catita, I have two graduate degrees from the top Universities in the world.
I was lucky to live in our times and enjoy technological advances. I still remember the first time I met web 2.0 and it actually changed my life for good. Somebody told me about a nannies program abroad and I looked for the information on the internet. I ended up spending a year in New York and seventeen years later, I have accomplished graduate studies and worked for two of the most important international organizations: OAS and UN.
Currently, I am devoted to guarantee the best available right to health for Latin American children through the launching of a continental network for prevention of illnesses that can cause disabilities. This network is a virtual space for international exchange and cooperation and it takes advantage of web 2.0. This network would mean that I can help future women to empower themselves in order to change their destinies and their descendants’.
Think of being Catita for one minute and imagine what you would be able to accomplish with access to web 2.0. Nowadays, with access to digital media and Catita’s spirit, women illiteracy could be easily eliminated. Even more, they could advocate internationally for their rights and even transform their countries.
RENAPRED**, the institution I work for, covers all the Mexican territory with maternal health and prevention campaigns made in its own broadcasting station. Since, Mexico has an alarming maternity mortality rate, RENAPRED currently promotes the daily intake of folic acid*** and tries to reach as many women in fertility age as possible. Catita lost 4 children because bad pregnancies or neonatal preventable illnesses. By means of web 2.0, we try to bring closer the right information and make it accessible for people with disabilities. Health and education will certainly make the perfect formula to assure a better destiny for the future Mexican voices.
* Corn flat flour bread.
**RENAPRED The National Network for Disability Prevention (Red Nacional para la Prevención de la Discapacidad www.renapred.org.mx)
***Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube disorders and other congenital deficiencies that can cause disabilities in newborns. It has to be taken daily before, during and after the pregnancy. Folic Acid also helps to prevent preeclampsia and eclapsia among other illnesses.