International Women’s day was established in the nineteenth century as a way of recognizing the role of women during the peak of the global industrialization era. It has also been characterized by a diverse range of ideologies.
Today, in a strengthened Latin America with a historic growth of the middle class (more than 50% over the last decade) it is evident that the role of women in the region is increasingly more relevant. I think it is worth recognizing the Latin American women who are the mainstay of the region, 70% of whom already participate in the labor market and who gain more ground in strategic positions each day…but I would like to give special recognition to Venezuelan women.
Venezuela was one of the first countries to recognize women’s right to vote, as well as give them access to free, compulsory public education without distinction of sex. Women currently occupy 48% of positions in Venezuelan universities and this has allowed the country to position itself among the first of the Southern Cone countries, with the highest average number of years of study among women.
However, the Venezuelan woman, by definition is strong, determined and brave, currently faces one of the biggest challenges ever: to continue to be a mainstay both inside and outside of the home during one of the most difficult times my country has faced…Over the last few weeks, women have spent hours worrying about their children. Every day, women do everything possible to fulfill their family’s basic needs; women work tirelessly from within their sector to recover the country we so dearly yearn for.
These are difficult times for Venezuela and we must understand that its reconstruction will not be easy. It is only through unity, dialogue and reconciliation that we will be able to adopt the necessary measures to restore our country to being a prosperous place with investor confidence; a place of opportunities where our currency regains its value; a safe place where our children can grow without having to line up to obtain basic provisions; a place that is internationally recognized for its spirit and its beauty, not for its instability and uncertainty. As a Venezuelan, it saddens me to see my country divided and Venezuela’s future seriously worries me… but I trust that women in my country will continue to demonstrate the strength that characterizes us and that it will be a uniting factor for the reconciliation that Venezuela needs.
I would like to express my greatest respect and admiration for all Venezuelan women.