I grew up in a family of strong, intelligent and opinionated women who ensured that I would be raised in an environment where I would never have to question my dreams or goals.
Throughout my childhood, I never felt restricted by my gender and felt equal if not better than my male counterparts.
As I grew older, I studied injustices towards women in history and in contemporary society. In college, I dedicatedly memorized women’s liberations in the U.S., eventually shifting my studies towards the international realm. I learned about women in countries all over the world that were denied education, forced into domestic duties, knew little about the diseases that plagued them, mutilated simply because they were female and never given the chance to feel the autonomy I felt.
During a recent lecture I attended on Women and Politics in Latin America, my professor explained about how in the late ’80s, many countries in Latin America enforced a quota system in their political representation.
A quota system requires a certain percentage of legislative candiates to be female. These countries enforced quotas to boost the image of their country, to appear more modern and more democratic to the rest of the world.
I was surprised to learn that Cuba was represented by 45 percent women in their legistlature and that many Latin American countries had a history of multiple female presidents. This made me curious, how did my own country, where I felt to be a compelte equal to men, compare?