March is Women’s History Month in the United States.
The UN’s International Women’s Day celebration is March 8. It’s an important celebration across the Latin world.
Women are important. We all have mothers. Many of us have sisters, daughters, wives, aunts, cousins and nieces. Contemplating women’s history is actually contemplating women’s future.
There is no good future in societies where women are held back. A glance at a map of the Gender Inequality Index produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows that countries with high gender inequality are bedeviled by war, famine and poverty. Countries with more equality create better lives for all their people.
When a +2% increase in economic activity feels great and a -2% decrease in economic activity feels terrible, keeping 50% of your people from achieving their potential makes absolutely no sense. Countries cannot compete in a globalized world without maximizing the potential of all their people.
“Few forces change the world so much as education and the empowerment of women”Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, This Has Been the Best Year Ever, December 28, 2019
Julia de Burgos
As our cover image, we chose the iconic photograph of Puerto Rican poet and human rights activist Julia de Burgos (1914-1953). Her writings came twenty years before the women’s rights movement in the United States.
Latin culture tends to be very “machista” (male chauvinist). It is one of the great failings of the culture. Young people today tend to be much more evolved, but for De Burgos to do what she did in her time is doubly exceptional.
En todo me lo juego a ser lo que soy yo”“Songfest: A Cycle of American Poems for Six Singers and Orchestra” (1977) by Leonard Bernstein with words from the “A Julia de Burgos” poem
(I gamble it all to be exactly as I am)
In New York City, the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center in El Barrio East Harlem is named after her.
The U.S. Government women’s history month web site is womenshistorymonth.gov