That smile in the mirror is mine!
This article was written as a compulsory assignment for the Voices of Our Future Contest http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/voices-of-our-future
Every morning, I go over my life to remind me why I am this happy. I am on my thirties and I work for RENAPRED, a very unique Mexican organization dedicated to maternal health and disabilities prevention. I hold two graduate degrees from abroad. My former students have done the same; and they have come back to work for their communities. I fought corruption as public official and I have worked for the UN and the OAS. I have danced, laughed, loved and being loved. I have enjoyed the sensuality of being naked and the exciting pleasure of walking under a heavy snow. I have traveled the world just like I have enjoyed the peace of my bed. I have family and friends caring for my safety and well-being. Bearing all these in mind, I think I have strong reasons to be happy.
However, many people think I have a distorted vision of happiness because I have not married or had children yet. They keep telling me: “It has to be something wrong with you, you have to be broken. You will never be a woman until you marry and have children”. Nevertheless, I decided to be happy despite what other people think or expect from me.
Thus, I am not a broken girl; but, I am a Mexican empowered woman. In fact, I am the harvest produced by the cumulative efforts of many generations. My hope is that, my now baby nieces, Ana Sofia, Ana Lia and Ana Ricarda will not be question to whatever or whenever they shall decide to be or believe in. It will not matter whether they decide to be childless scientists or full-time moms. Thus, my vision for the future is we happy women will invade our countries and will finally change our realities for good. My professional and personal efforts will keep supporting, creating and promoting conditions to encourage more women to fulfill their happiness who will eventually have even happier, healthier and more protected babies.
I firmly believe, empowerment and education do not make us less of a woman. They make us better wives, mothers, leaders and human beings. Why not to embrace womanhood from an improved perspective? My personal experience has showed me our lives are not limited by the circumstances we are born into. Betterment is a slow, but achievable process. In my family, it has taken us two generations to fight extreme poverty; we have finally achieved it though.
I do not only wish, but I need to be one of the “Voices of our future”. An alarming number of women, and even girls, are still dying from maternal related causes in the region. And, preventable deficiencies and illnesses that can cause disabilities in newborn are still occurring too. At RENAPRED, my main task is the launching of a continental network for prevention of illnesses and environmental barriers that can cause disabilities in children. The network’s motivation is to guarantee the best available right to health for Latin American children.
In a country where being a journalist is the most dangerous profession; we need more citizen journalists to speak up the truth. Being one of the correspondents will allow me to reach more women in the region; recruit more volunteers; share our knowhow; and, most importantly to create an external influence for our governments. We need to guarantee the access to folic acid to every person in reproductive age; we must guarantee safer pregnancies and natural delivers; we have to breastfeed our babies; and, we must ensure universal accessibility in medical and educative services. These are only few of the reasons why I need to be one of your correspondents. We need more people aware of their rights. The more we are, the better the chances governments will take actions.
Finally, I want to be one of the Voices for the Future because I think I am a good role model for other young people. I aspire to inspire them by reading my journal. I know I am very fortunate because I was born in this part of the world. Nevertheless, what I called happiness is the result of a journey that deserves to be told. Undoubtedly, we need more women fulfilling their happiness and being proud at recognizing the smile in the mirror is hers. Let us be happier human beings!!!