International Women’s Day 2014: Focus On Latinas Inspiring Change and Using Their Fame for Good!
March 8th is International Women’s Day for 2014, a day that has been observed since the early 1900s and serves to celebrate “the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.” (InternationalWomensDay.com) The battle for equality for women worldwide is far from over, pero there are many women who work very hard to get us closer to a world where women are free from fear and afforded the respect, rights and opportunities to succeed that they deserve.
Hoy, we want to take the time to reflect on some of the Latina mujeres, whom we very much respect and admire, who are doing all they can, like this year’s theme suggests, to inspire (y create!) change in the world. These are artistas whose music, films and shows we love, and we also love how they’re using their fame for good! The list below is far from comprehensive and isn’t ranked in any particular order.
Eva Longoria, supporting success for Latinas
Longoria has created the Eva Longoria Foundation which seeks to “empower Latinas to reach their potential through education and entrepreneurship.” The foundation is making strides in their endeavors by creating programs, researching the obstacles Latinas come up against and searching for solutions and raising awareness on a national level.
Rosario Dawson, domestic violence
Dawson does not shy away from being vocal about causes she believes in and has been involved with conservation groups and human rights groups and campaigns. In 2012, she worked with the Allstate Foundation during October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month helping to bring attention to the shocking reality that 1 in 4 women has been a victim of domestic violence.
America Ferrera, Latino empowerment & education
Ferrera won over our hearts with her roles on Ugly Betty and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but since her teen years, she has become an outspoken advocate for Latinos on the national level and partnered with the bi-partisan non-profit organization Voto Latino. She is also involved with the documentary and movement Half the Sky, advocating for women’s rights and raising awareness for gender based violence.
Shakira, international advocate for education and healthcare for children
There is no denying that Shakira is an absolute power house artista, and when she isn’t busy dominating the stage, working on her next album or being one third of the cutest family ever, she is doing everything she can to help make sure children’s health and educational needs are met in Colombia, Latin America and the world. She established the Pies Descalzos foundation in Colombia and the Barefoot Foundation in the US, works in association with ALAS Foundation, is a goodwill ambassador for Unicef, and in 2011 was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Eva Mendes, girls’ and women’s issues
Mendes has lent her voice and face to a variety of campaigns over the years including PETA and 4Real Foundation. Most recently, she became involved with the International Rescue Committee specifically working in Sierra Leone and helping with efforts to combat and bring awareness to gender based violence in the region. She was connected with the project through her involvement with the Half the Sky Movement.