Two Latin Americans named “Women of the Year 2023” by Time Magazine


Time magazine recognized two Latin American women as its Women of the Year, a list it shares with 10 other global personalities in an edition that, although repeated every year, is especially special because it coincides with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of publication.

On the occasion, the Mexican activist Veronica Cruz Sanchez, defender of social justice and women’s right to abortion, and the Minister of Racial Equality of Brazil, Anil Franco, were highlighted for having an “enormous influence” in their societies, “once than activism, government, sports and the arts.

Who is Veronica Cruz?

Over the past 18 months, Cruz, a pragmatic, fast-talking 52-year-old woman who has been campaigning for social justice organizations since she was a teenager, has expanded Las Libres to the United States. This is how Time magazine describes part of the recent work by Mexican Veronica Cruz.

But her work dates back to 2000, when she began leading the feminist group Las Libres in her home country in a crusade against the decriminalization of abortion and advocating for women to have access to safe abortion.

Her initial focus was the state of Guanajuato, an ultraconservative city that has criminalized the practice in almost all circumstances. In that sense, “Cruz and his colleagues worked to distribute a pill approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and to help women feel safe”, says the post.

After the national success and having managed to cover other countries, her bet went beyond borders. “In America, the women you see are terrified,” Cruz said in interviews. “They have very little knowledge about the pill.”

And so, Las Libres expanded to the United States in the last year and a half after the Texas legislature passed a near-total ban on abortion in May 2021. To date, the organization already has about 300 volunteers in that country. And it helped. 1000 women.

In 2006, Cruz received the Human Rights Watch Advocate Award for her work advocating for sexual and reproductive rights, particularly the right to abortion for women in Guanajuato.

Cruz Sánchez was born in Leon, Guanajuato on February 1, 1971, the fourth of eight children (five girls and three boys).

Since high school, she began to work with the women in her neighborhood, going from house to house teaching them to read and write; There, she realized that work and social activism were the two areas she wanted to work in.

Thus, she became a social worker at the José Cardijn de León School of Social Work and in 2000, together with the foundation of Las Libres, she graduated in international trade.

Franco: Activity since the tragedy

In turn, Anielle Franco became famous this year when she became Brazil’s Minister of Racial Equality with the coming to power of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.

Franco, who “never planned on being a politician because that’s a sister thing,” entered the world of activism after her sister Mariel, five years her senior, was murdered while serving on Rio de Janeiro’s city council.

Mariel was, at the time, a “born enthusiast, designer and activist” for the rights of the African-American and LGBT community. “I was more shy,” Anil told TIME.

People close to the sisters believe the murder was “retaliation for their activism against police violence, racism and corruption”.

The quest for justice has put Anil, 33, in the national spotlight. A volleyball player and English teacher, she has devoted herself to activism full-time, launching a non-profit organization in her sister’s name, at a time when the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, elected in late 2018, he hits the human rights agenda,” reports the Journal.

He adds that his “tragic family history, warm personality and deft use of social media made the shy Anil an unlikely leader of the black rights movement” in that country.

Black Brazilians represent almost 60% of the country’s 214 million inhabitants, but Anil fights against deep racial inequalities. The average household income of white Brazilians is twice that of blacks, according to official statistics from a recent Financial Times publication.

This demographic held only about 5% of executive positions and 6.5% of management and director positions in large corporations last year, according to the 2002 Racial Equity Index. .

“In Brazil, racism is huge. It’s not just institutional,” Aniel told British media.

Today, aged 38 – she was her sister when she died – Franco leads the fight for a fairer Brazil. “I am very happy not to be here alone, this recognition is not just mine, it belongs to all black women in Brazil”, said the minister when she was among a group of 12 recognized personalities.

Full List

In addition to Latin America, the list includes Australian actress Cate Blanchett. Pakistani Aisha Siddiqa is an activist in the field of the effects of climate change. American actress Angela Bassett. Somali professional boxer Ramla Ali. American singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers; Ukrainian LGBT rights activist Olena Shevchenko; Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad. football player Megan Rapinoe; Makiko Ono from Japan, CEO of Suntory; and American writer Quinta Bronson.

Many of the women on the list, the magazine says, “faced tremendous challenges that inspired them to drive change.”

Share post:


More like this

Latin America owes domestic workers a debt: a study revealed that 62% earn the minimum wage

More than half of domestic workers in Colombia don't...

The Goal Marks a Victory: Central Bank of Brazil Approves WhatsApp Purchases With Visa and Mastercard

"There are no more regulatory obstacles to carrying out...

The Four Trends That Will Define the Payments Ecosystem in Latin America in 2023

Financial interoperability and P2P payment systems are among the...

How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment Companies?

How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment...