C is for Costa Rica!

Word of the week: “Poder” or Power

March 8th, is recognized as International Women’s Day. It is a day to both commemorate AND celebrate the achievements and continuous progress women as a whole have made over the years. It is a day that age, race and religion are put to the side in order to collectively acknowledge how far we have come, considering our rich history. So to all of my ladies reading this post, Happy Int’l Women’s Day!

After a recent discussion on politics , I felt it was important to make note of the recent progress women have made in politics here in Costa Rica. Historically, women of all backgrounds, religions from various countries have faced hardship in getting ahead – and still do. The corporate and political world over time have made it increasingly difficult for women to advance in their careers. Movements, laws and ethics have allowed for tremendous breakthrough.

One woman of this country that held substantial power for four years was Laura Chinchilla. Serving as President from 2010-2014, she was the first elected female to serve the Republic of Costa Rica and the fifth to serve in Latin America. As the daughter of one of Costa Rica’s most renowned political figures, the public eye was convinced she had an advantage in her political campaign. Every country has its own source of corruption within the government and despite the common belief, Laura earned her way to the top, working many government jobs prior to taking office. Believe it or not, Laura Chinchilla made great advances in terms of for women during her term. Opposing parties during her political race had many opposing views that did not coincide with her more liberal policies. This is not to say I agree nor disagree with her political views, but to rather acknowledge changes progressively made in Costa Rica over time. In fact, the female vote was not officially counted in races until 1949 and realistically, that is not too long ago. To further put this into perspective, this was just about 30 years AFTER women in America gained the right to vote in 1920. Currently she is in Washington D.C. teaching at Georgetown University. As the first woman in Costa Rica to hold the highest level of political power, I feel the relevance in sharing her background is very much worth the read. Despite the geographical difference in where we women stand, it is important to acknowledge our similarities in the struggles we face daily. Sometimes it goes beyond the difference in pay and the fight to climb the career ladder, but more so to take note of the principle behind the struggle. Our advancements throughout history are far greater than we are given credit for. For me, it was inspirational to see a woman of substance make and leave her mark on her own country. Costa Rica now has a male President as I’ve mentioned in my previous post(s), but Laura Chinchilla was sure to make it known that the vote of the woman is indeed alive and filled with power.

Some of Drexel’s finest women abroad ~ Starting week 10 strong!
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