Valuing Women: Crisabel

"We're women with dreams. We want to be better people, to grow our businesses, to gain more knowledge of our work. But spiritually and morally we want to grow. A lot of times we find ourselves with low self esteem. When you feel low self esteem, you feel like you can't do anything. We want to overcome and triumph in life. A lot of women say "we can't do anything as women." But we can. We can develop ourselves. Even if we're alone, we can do a lot."

It all starts in our family. Girls are not valued. They say, "Oh, you are a women, you don’t need to study." A man can go far away to study. Why? Are women not smart? We want to value girls from a young age – give them respect and love, encourage their growth and development.

We want more opportunities to develop ourselves. We are getting some of that support from the government that values our work. We want to be respected. In the workplace we were harassed and because we did not have any other way of earning a living, we had to endure it. A lot of women suffer harassment in work places. So we want respect as women, - to know that we are valued, that we are listened to. We want a woman's opinion to have the same value as a man's. They say they value the work that we do. But women always get paid less even though they are doing the same work as a man. In our community that was happening. We, as women, were on the community council (made up of women and men).When there was some kind of errand to run or work that was far away and a man were to do the errand, he got paid the full days wages. If it was a woman who did the errand, they gave us only a half days wages. One of the women said,"This shouldn't be like this." And we worked to change it!

Work, Family and Community SEW’s development of women is the development of the family and the community

What we do at home has value. Women will be asked, “Do you work?” and they’ll say, “No, I don’t work.” And that’s all they do is work!!!! Because we do not get a salary doesn’t mean we don’t work.



When we do leave our homes for SEW work, the cooking doesn’t get done, the washing doesn’t get done, the cleaning doesn’t get done. We want to generate changes starting with our family, that our husbands and our children will not be the same people as before – that they share in the work of the home with us.

We want to be better persons in the society and contribute to social and economic development. We want to organize more women to work in our cheese business, La Vaquita. We’re organizing another group of women that want to start another economic initiative. The idea was born from them.

We’re working in the Church; we’re working in the community. Our water filter project has benefitted the entire community. We have water filters here in the business and our neighbors now have them as well. It’s really necessary for the health of the children. So we want to thank you for the support we got. And we’re also happy that other people, not part of the group, have gotten support from this.

We also work on the community Board of Directors that oversees the necessities of the communities through the health clinic, helping the elderly and those needing medical care.