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Me feminist? / Josefina Aranda / In search of academic excellence

Posted byShinji_Harper the Thursday, February 16, 2012
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Soledad JARQUÍN E.


Oaxaca, México.- Josefina Aranda has a doctorate in social anthropology and feminist "feminist, but good, not one to be ashamed and now say they are of the genus".
It savoring every sip of coffee from the many cups it takes each morning, Josefina Aranda, serious contender for the post of rector of the UABJO, is director of strategic plans and programs for the institution in an office building rectory.
His work for almost 30 years is linked to the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca, where he has been academic, researcher and official, and also the coffee communities in the intricate mountain ranges of the entity which always has "heart and brain" to train women of all their rights and encourage them autonomous productive projects whose fruits collected today.

His face was amiable and quiet despite seeing come the time; It is less serious than in the past, in his words denote passion for what he has done in life and what you do to achieve its objectives, its history is made up of elements such as patience, discipline, perseverance and goals.

Josefina Aranda was discovered feminist when you were just 20 years and a student of Social Anthropology. It went from "primary" feminism protesting songs like The King of José Alfredo Jimenez, groups of reading and reflection among academic "that even then spoke understood as gender inequality and social status of women".

He read all feminists of the hands of their teachers Teresita de Barbieri and Lourdes Arispe, with whom he would later develop research and also with a group of academic interest in the subject as Esperanza Tunon, Sara Lava, Gisela Espinosa, among many others and later with socialist feminists of Puerto Rico understand "how inequality based on gender is socially constructed and how our strength as feminists is to build another society that is not based on unequal gender relations."

Then ended the seventies, the rise of "third-wave feminism" in which the concept of patriarchy emerges "to mean the socio-moral and political order maintained and perpetuated the male hierarchy," (that) "marked the end the feminine mystique "as Amelia Valcarcel says.

Savor every sip of coffee, whose aroma and body will talk about her feminist activism that carried remember defending a teenager raped by her stepfather and his work on the popular urban movement from Mexico City to demand the right of women to the property up to the Oaxacan mountains. "I will never deny that I am a feminist," she says satisfied.

In the early eighties, with other professionals and others founded the Center for Oaxacan Popular Support (Campo) Movement and almost simultaneously the State Coordinator of Coffee Producers of Oaxaca (CEPCO), "the great challenge is to bring the feminism, or as I say, the consciousness of this inequality and knowledge of human rights that we women "and was there for over 10 years.

These were the years of the coffee crisis, but Josefina Aranda says that crises are moments of opportunity and sought that women decide what to do and chose to produce "platitas coffee" because the women in his reflection said "Now coffee is not worth but then it will be worth Chepa lady. "

It was difficult not only for coffee time, also to introduce the subject of human rights but managed to overcome the difficulties, in the end they had their own word, gave his views began to be heard and respected, to work together with the men and that made different from the peasant organization in time when the participation of women are not promoted.

Sow "coffee seedlings" paid off, he unfolded in literacy projects in Mazatec language, productive programs and services to communities. Today is a peasant organization founded companies to do their work sustainable, self-construction as a peasant movement and to push through their own production, sells services to be independent of the state and avoid being co-opted.

Today is majority participation of women in CEPCO due, among other things, the migration of men, they changed their personal lives but also the community began to join the municipal structures and other organizations, "it was a work of reflection , training, come and go, to overcome obstacles ... "

Josefina Aranda recalls that American grantees were asked to women in leadership and she answered them come to that was not an act of magic, it was a process through which men were sensitized and they have the elements to be leaders and not be just puppets.

"I can already say with pleasure that was achieved," said referring to Leonor Fernandez Allende, one of the coffee that led the Council, but also "was a hard, difficult, with contradictions and very patient construction, as when they murdered companion Abrosio Estela Luna, in the Loxicha region, "felt a tremendous bitterness, come to think he should retire to write my books, pure, hard and true," he says when he recalls that the loss of Estela confronted her because she had worked for outside an advocate of women's rights.
Transform education

Josefina Aranda academia combined with the social reality of women said that education is really the element that transforms inequality, injustice and impunity and the University is an important platform to achieve.

Serious contender for the rectory UABJO not fazed at "low blows" already started, because he says it is more important to conclude an educational project initiated UABJO former rector Francisco Martinez Neri and they continue the current rector Rafael Torres.

"The priority is the training and research, and that students have the opportunity to become the best in Oaxaca.

However, he acknowledges that it will be a tough fight personal and family interests still control the highest seat of learning, therefore demanded to potential opponents 'fair play' and competing itself educational, democratic projects and equal participation, "which unruly not tempted to take external forces in the fight, because I will not do. "

Criticized for not being born in Oaxaca and disparagingly called "defeña" Josefina Aranda holds that life gave him the chance to develop as a person and as a professional in Oaxaca, so much that has been recognized as Distinguished Citizen by the City Council of Oaxaca and better yet, he notes, was not born in this state poses no impediment in the Organic Law or the university regulations.

Also be discarded instead of Josefina, "Delfina" the current president because it ensures that Torres has shown a preference for more than one.
From what point it is to strengthen and complete the academic project whose possibility is to have the university that deserves Oaxaca says with an air of satisfaction that has been part of the past and of this administration.

And as for whichever other woman, considered a vulnerable point, she says that being a woman is an area of ​​opportunity, the problem is that some men think they will not let a woman send.
So much so that they produced a pamphlet he says where they intend to disqualify calling it "old" age-old and older as a woman, to which responds that age brings wisdom, experience that for such an important position as the rectory and, Moreover, he states in droll tone that "old hills and old green again and the moon and return to her."

Fearless and very professionally, Josefina Aranda build a participatory academic project, as the foundation of their success and seeks to provide a strong, clear and forceful struggle against all the problems of inequality that exist in the university at all levels, solving issues that so far have not been addressed as sexual harassment and other violence against women, according to this model tested applying the general director of the National Polytechnic Institute, Yoloxóchitl Bustamante.
For now, Josefina Aranda marches in search of the highest office in the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca, would be only the second woman to head the institution founded in 1827, only this time the vision of social condition be included women and, without any doubt, give answers in that regard.



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