“Learning is an act of rebellion for indigenous women”: Eufrosina Cruz

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The Aula Magna of the Faculty of Law of the Universidad Veracruzana hosted the presentation of the autobiographical book called “The Dreams of the Mountain Girl”, written by the Oaxacan federal legislator Eufrosina Cruz Mendoza of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

During the welcome, the director Alberto Cruz Silva said that the book presented had to be considered “as an obligatory reference source for studies on international law, constitutional law, gender rights and human rights.”

Through a statement, the deputy pointed out that as a woman from a native town of Oaxaca, “at the moment of birth I was predestined to remain tied to the family bosom, subject to waiting for the advancement of my brothers. I went to school but the expectations were few, for Zapotec girls, learning is an act of rebellion, of all indigenous women”.

In addition, he emphasized the life of marginalization that he suffered: “there were deficiencies and we lived the mistreatment of my father. I had to reconcile with him to get ahead, leave the grudge to be able to move forward. That’s how I grew up, in an environment where many macho customs conditioned the personal development of women. I faced a reality where there were arranged marriages, where a 13-year-old girl had a baby and at 31 she already had nine children. I began to question my daily life, I resisted believing that women could not progress.

According to the federal legislator, “the definitive breaking point was when I was elected as municipal president at the age of 27 and it turned out that I was banned from holding the position, because I was a woman. That did not stop me, I confirmed that I had to fight and my voice has come to reform the Constitution of Oaxaca and the Federal Constitution, in addition to the fact that the United Nations Organization has made my own proposals for the defense of the women of the indigenous peoples and afros”.

For her part, Deputy Lorena Piñón Rivera (PRI) stated that “the text is full of anecdotes and deep reflections; It is an autobiographical story that becomes a genuine political manifesto for the defense of women’s freedoms, democratic progress and the fight to shatter the glass ceilings forged with centuries-old macho customs.

“When reading this book, between the lines the old debt that the Mexican State has with women, especially with those in rural areas who belong to the original peoples, is revealed. These days I have felt so moved and comforted by the story of Eufrosina, that I have been crying while reading your book, it is exciting and inspiring”, she said.

To conclude, the Veracruz legislator affirmed that “Eufrosina’s history of hardships, challenges and adversities; Unfortunately, she has episodes that have lasted in our society, but she is precisely here to stimulate their struggle, to make them see that their causes are valid and that many federal legislators are committed to continuing to climb this ladder to achieve equity and parity in all the facets of life.

“The State, with the institutions and respect for the law, companies with social responsibility and men in general with greater awareness and empathy, must intervene to eradicate the chronic system of exclusion caused by machismo in order to, consequently, make it possible for women’s growth prospects to improve with economic empowerment, equal access to positions of popular representation, support to make their land productive, access to technology or credit, opt for a decent job and encourage women to unpaid care and domestic work that is shared equally between the men and women of the families.

Teacher Montserrat Ortega, teacher Antonia Quiroz and the director of the Seminar on Indigenous Law, teacher Bertha Alicia Ramírez Arce, also participated in the presentation of the book.

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