Yesterday was International Women’s Day – A time when we stop and think about the incredible accomplishments of women and girls from around the world since the beginning of time. It’s a time to celebrate the women who struggled for equality, who’ve broken barriers, and demanded that the world change for the better. In short, this is a perfect time to reflect on the incredible history of women who have been a force for good in the world.
Today we would like to highlight three Ecuadorian women who have tackled challenges, excelled in their fields, and lead by example:
Rosa Borja de Ycaza was an Ecuadorian writer, essayist, dramatist, sociologist, poet, novelist, feminist and activist. She was the director of the “Center for Literary Studies” at the University of Guayaquil, founder and director of the magazine Nuevos Horizontes, founder of the “Journalists Circle” of Guayas and vice president of the “Bolivarian Society” of Guayaquil. She was also served as Minister of Guayas province.
Her most famous works were two plays: Las de Judas and Nadie sabe lo que vendrá mañana
She created the “Women’s Legion of Popular Education” and was an advocate for women’s rights and the rights of workers and employees, whom she indoctrinated with lectures and discussions.
Martha Lorena Fierro Baquero currently holds the title of International Chess Grandmaster, and International Organizer. Fierro has been Ecuador’s strongest female chess player for many years, and has represented Ecuador in ten biennial Chess Olympiads from 1994 to 2012.
Fierro is a vice president of FIDE and a chairperson for the FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess (WOM).
Eugenia Maria del Pino Veintimilla from Quito is a developmental biologist at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador. She was the first Ecuadorian citizen to be elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences – Members are selected based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Del Pino’s primary focus of study is the Andean Marsupial frog. She studied the reproductive and developmental adaptations of this frog in comparison with other tropical frogs.
In addition to her research, Del Pino is a professor of Developmental Biology at Pontifical Catholic University in Ecuador. She also helped the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands in the establishment of a program of scholarships for Ecuadorian students in the Galapagos Islands. This work as well as her position as the only Ecuadorian citizen to have achieved international recognition in science, have made her a figure of national importance in Ecuador
Whether we look to history for role models such as Rosa Parks, Margaret Hamilton, Ada Lovelace, or Cleopatra, or we are impressed by the role models of today such as Malala, Serena Williams, Laverne Cox, or Amal Clooney, it is easy to get caught up in the stories of incredible women. Just as importantly, though, we should be recognizing the drive and dedication of every day women and girls – our teachers, our moms, our daughters, our volunteers, local businesswomen, even ourselves.
Before these famous women were leading scientists, military leaders, journalists, athletes, politicians, artists, or writers, each of them started by asking what they could do to make a difference, and taking positive action steps to make their voice heard – Just as we can do every day in our own communities.
Until next time,