Growing up, I often struggled to find my role in society next to men. I was raised in a very old fashion and conservative household, which emphasizes women’s role in society as lesser than that of a mans. Like most Latin American countries, the machismo culture is still prevalent in the region and hinders the empowerment of women. I have experienced this form of machismo since I can remember and I have always been very passionate about women’s rights. As a result, I would like to research the depiction of women and the machismo culture in Venezuela for my Girl Innovators finals.
I would like to interview Venezuelan women who despite this impending attitude towards the feminine, broke the status quo and found unconventional ways to empower themselves as women.
My grandmother: In 2000, one of her sons was kidnapped by the Colombian FARC. In response, she used her voice and platform to grab hold of the attention of the major politicians of Venezuela and Colombia at the time, all of which were men. Many doubted her, especially given her title as a divorcee from a once-powerful businessman, often refusing to respond to her multiple protests and marches, but she persisted, ultimately arranging a meeting with the Venezuelan president at the time, Hugo Chavez. Even then, he mocked her and belittled her on live national television. If it were not for her unwavering determination, my uncle would probably not be with us today.
She remains as strong and unchallenged as ever, all without a man by her side. She single-handedly raised a household, mourned the loss of her oldest son, had her two other sons kidnapped and set an example for her youngest daughter, my mother, of what it means to be a badass woman.
I would like to have the opportunity to interview other Venezuelan women and share their stories as a woman in one of the most machismo countries in South America.
I would like to interview my aunt, Marena who was Miss Venezuela in 1996, Andrea Diquez, the current President of Saatchi & Saatchi, and the fashion designer, Carolina Herrera.