Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? I am sure many of you would answer that question with a definite “no”. You might get a clear picture in your head of a man-hating woman with short hair and trousers. Some may even use the word feminazi to refer to free thinking, empowered women who raise their voices to uphold their rights.

I disagree with the negative connotation of the term feminist. Feminism is a social and political movement that, throughout the years, has recreated itself and taken many forms. There have been three waves or stages of feminism: the first wave advocated civil rights for women. The second wave aimed for political rights including the suffragist movement and the third struggled for public intervention in matters that were previously considered private. It is said we are now living a fourth wave of feminism, as technology is now used as means to strengthen the movement. Devices have certainly made feminism more popular, but there is still a long road ahead.

Although I understand the frustration many women feel after centuries of discrimination, I don’t believe revenge is the answer. On the contrary, I am convinced that it is through cooperation between men and women that we will be able to make changes in favour of equality. We should not allow gender to define the way in which each person lives their life. Gender shouldn’t decide anything for us, nor impose imaginary limits in our lives.

Are you against gender stereotypes? You’re a feminist. Do you think everyone should receive equal pay for their work? You’re a feminist. Do you think we should all be free to develop freely without the constraints of our gender assigned at birth? Feminist. Are you aware of the importance of women in the development of communities? Do you agree with the fact that every person is the owner of their own body? If you believe everyone deserves the same opportunities and that no human is born without rights, you are most definitely, a feminist.

I am a feminist because I believe that woman’s rights are human rights. I am a feminist because I don’t agree with gender discrimination, which has for years been the norm in public and private spaces. I am a feminist because I do not tolerate misogyny, abuse and sexism. Anyone who believes in equality and justice is also a feminist. We must raise our voices so that our efforts are translated into change in our society.

Angélica Fuentes, Founder Equal Invest

Angélica Fuentes is a Latin American businesswoman and impact investor, who has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most influential women.

Ms. Fuentes was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 and quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. Under her leadership, Grupo Imperial’s annual growth rate increased from 5% in 1992 to 9.5% in 2005. Ms. Fuentes served as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004, and as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000. From 2007 to 2015, she served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico.

Throughout her career, Ms. Fuentes has dedicated significant time and resources to NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that support the cause of women. She participated in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Parity Programme, and led the Mexican Gender Parity Taskforce. She currently serves on Secretary Clinton’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership; is member of the Private Sector Leadership Advisory Council of UN Women; is a Global Advocate for the Girl Up Campaign, a United Nations Foundation program; co-chairs the PVBLIC LATAM regional platform; is member of the Latin American Program Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center; and is member of the Global Dignity’s International Council of Advisors.

Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards. In 2015, UN Women gave her the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award; she was the first female CEO to receive this award for championing gender equality in the private sector. In 2016, PVBLIC Foundation, Ismael Cala Foundation, and the United Nations gave her the award for Latin Woman Empowerment. In 2017, she received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from The Maestro Cares Foundation.

Gender equality, women empowerment and the eradication of poverty have always been a priority in all her endeavors. In 2014, she established the Angelica Fuentes Foundation. In 2016, she founded A Complete and The Imperative Fund. In 2017, she founded Equal Invest, The Beauty Station and A Complete Journey.

#madre, #empresaria y #defensora de los #derechos de la #mujer. Be more, to do more: for #life, #business, and #equality.

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