Violeta, 29
Guadalupe, Ecuador

Violeta grew up in an indigenous and male-dominated culture. Though a vast majority of Shuar girls drop out of school to get married in their mid-teens, Violeta both completed high school and, while pregnant with her third child, earned a teaching degree. Today Violeta has become the first woman leader in her traditionally "machista" society. Utilizing skills obtained from CARE workshops, Violeta is teaching women and girls lessons on gender equity and cooperation. Violeta said that the social fabric is slowly changing. Women may now pursue moneymaking activities and are not confined to their traditional roles of cooking, cleaning and child rearing.


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