New leadership training program recruiting Latinas to empower their communities

By Veronica Martinez
EL PASO – A soon-to-be-launched leadership development program called L.E.A.D. (Lead, Educate, Advocate, Develop) is recruiting Latinas who are committed to developing leadership skills to address socio-economic and educational needs of El Rio Grande region for an eight-month program next year. The project between several UTEP programs and the local non-profit organization Wise Latinas aims to identify 10 regional women with drive and initiative who wish to empower their communities and become community leaders, say the organizers. “We’re looking for people who are not just interested in themselves, but people who have the quality of thinking about how to improve the lives of others,” said Dr. Guillermina Nuñez, Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and a member of the L.E.A.D. planning committee. Other organizers of the training are Dr. Areli Chacon, UTEP director of the master’s program of Leadership Studies, Cynthia Marentes, director of Community Engagement at UTEP, and Liz Chavez, president of Wise Latinas International.  Participants will meet once a month for a one-day training workshop with experts and academics who have expertise in developing budgets, fundraising, project design, media outreach, conflict resolution and dressing for success.

The story of Wise Latina

Wise Latina International was established in 2010 and is a non-profit organization serving the international border area of the City of El Paso, the State of Texas, New Mexico and our international neighbors of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. It has a 15-member board of local and national Latinas.  Here is a slide show about the founding, mission and makeup of the organization.

State of the Net conference clicks on gender gap

By Joe Mussatto,
WASHINGTON – There were discussions of new technology and conversations about cyber security, but a new and unexpected element was apparent at Tuesday’s annual State of the Net conference – a number of women in high-ranking tech positions. The chair of the Federal Trade Commission led off the Internet policy conference followed by a U.S. assistant attorney general. The country’s chief technology officer then took the stage before a member of the House spoke. Finally, one of two women on the  five-memberFederal Communications Commission had a turn. All five are key players in the technology sector – all five are women.

Candidate Wendy Davis talks equal pay at Café Mayapan

EL PASO — Gubernatorial candidate Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, spent Wednesday morning speaking to media and volunteers at Café Mayapan, in El Paso, Texas. She focused her discussion on gender and economic equality. El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez and Rep. Marisa Marquez, both Democrats, introduced Davis. Davis spoke about Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and wage disparities within his office. “When he was first asked about it two weeks ago, he dodged the question,” Davis said in her speech.

Feminicidio – The brazen murder of women continues in Mexico

EL PASO, Texas — More than 500 women have been kidnapped, raped, mutilated, and murdered in Ciudad Juarez since the early 1990’s in what has become known as the feminicidios. Just last week, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, the mother of one of the victims was gunned down on the sidewalk in front of the Palace of Government in the northern Mexican City of Chihuahua as she asked for justice in the murder of her 17-year-old-daughter Rubi. The Mexican government has yet to bring those responsible for the murders to justice. The family members of the young women who have been murdered, and most Juárenses believe that the Federal Police are behind the killings and the government is covering it up. The majority of the women’s bodies are found in the desert area of Lomas de Poleo in Ciudad Juarez.

Women Still Forced to Juggle Career and Motherhood

EL PASO, Texas — Faculty and staff at any university in the University of Texas system planning to have children face the especially difficult challenge of juggling motherhood and career with only a 12-week unpaid maternity leave. Like many pregnant women teaching in the UT system professor Anne Giangiulio had to make arrangements other than just buying diapers and a crib before the baby’s arrival. “I was due to have my baby in December. Knowing this, I made arrangements with my then-Chair of Department of Art to teach classes I normally teach in the spring, in the summer. I don’t normally teach in the summer,” she said.

Las Mujeres of “Fuerza Unida”

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In 1990 one of Texas’s Levis Strauss factories closed leaving hundreds of workers, mostly women, without their livelihood. To many, it was the only job they ever had. From their loss, a support group was born. A group that later became a leading center to empower women in San Antonio, Texas through education, social work and community activism. Produced, shot, edited by Patricio Espinoza with the assistance of associate producer Bernessa Jakle, The Women of “Fuerza Unida” story aired with PBS DocuBloggers, KLRU, Austin, Texas.

Typical Parisian Women

In fact, it only takes a simple metro ride to get a sense that the idea of “a typical” Parisian woman—or man, for that matter—seems more of a fiction than a reality. If, for instance, you ride the metro from Odeon to Chatelet—two central and important metro exchanges—you will probably see a number of Parisian women who would not match the “typical” description: from college students wearing chador to women wearing Benetton garb, from girls in military fatigues to women in Senegalese kaftans.