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Mujeres Mundi, “What is the Role of Women in Your Society?”

This is the second and final part of a two-part interview.

Bajo la forma de biografías, Mujeres Mundi es un homenaje a la Mujer: en su rol de madre, luchadora por los derechos humanos, artista, viajera, aventurera, diferente.

Under the guise of biographies, Mujeres Mundi is a tribute to the woman: as a mother, as human rights defender, as an artist, as a traveller, as an adventurer… just being different.

In the first part of this interview, Xaviera Medina de Albrand told us about her blog, Mujeres Mundi [Women's World], where she publishes interviews with women around the world. In this second part, Xaviera talks about the importance of sharing her interviews with people that speak other languages. She also talks about a special project entitled “What is the role of women in your society?”

Mujeres Mundi can be read in English, French, and Spanish. Do you do the translations yourself?

Xaviera Medina de Albrand

Xaviera Medina de Albrand, photo used with permission

Sí. El proyecto es mi responsabilidad de A a Z, las traducciones soy yo, como dije alguna vez, encontrarán errores en inglés y francés, por seguro, y me disculpo por ello. Soy como el personaje Salvatore de la película En el Nombre de la Rosa, ¡hablando muchos idiomas pero ninguno a la vez!

Yes. The project is mine from top to bottom, the translations are mine, though as I said once, I'm sure errors can be found in English and French, and I apologize for that. I'm like the character Salvatore in the movie The Name Of The Rose, speaking many languages but never just one at a time!

Why did you decide to translate the material that you publish?

Hubiera sido mucho más sencillo trabajar los textos solamente en español a pesar de entrevistar en otros idiomas, lo difícil no es tanto hablar sino dar la forma al texto, sobre todo en idiomas que no son mis idiomas maternales. Pero también quería que las entrevistadas que no hablan español (en su mayoría) sepan lo que escribo sobre ellas, y segundo porque mientras más gente pueda leer sus historias, más gente podrá conocerlas, quizás contactarlas y dar a conocer sus ejemplos. Es un sistema de cadena, mientras llegue a un mayor público, mejor.

It would have been much easier just writing the articles in Spanish, despite interviewing in other languages. The hard part is not so much speaking but rather putting it all in an article, above all in languages that I don't speak natively. But I wanted the women that don't speak Spanish (which is the majority) to know what I write about them. Secondly, I wanted more people to be able to read their stories, so more people could get to know them, perhaps contact them, and raise awareness about their example. It's a chain, as long as it reaches a wider audience, the better.

There is a section of your blog titled “What is the role of women in your society?” Tell us a bit more about this project.

Se trata de los estereotipos que se tiene de las mujeres en ciertas sociedades. A veces nos hacemos una idea de una sociedad especifica pero esta idea o estereotipo es contraria a la realidad. De manera individual, realizo un estudio sobre los diferentes estereotipos de mujeres en diversas sociedades y las comparo con el rol que tienen en realidad.

It deals with stereotypes that exist about women in certain societies. Sometimes we create our own idea of a society but this idea or stereotype is contrary to reality. With an individualistic approach, I am carrying out a study about the different stereotypes of women in various societies while comparing them with the role they actually have.

What are the goals of the project?

Este proyecto tiene tres objetivos:

a. Aumentar la conciencia sobre algunos estereotipos creados ya sea por los medios de comunicación o por otras sociedades con respecto a las representaciones de mujeres en diversas culturas.

b. Describir cómo la creciente influencia política, económica y social de las mujeres puede tener un efecto positivo en la sociedad.

c. Describir los problemas comunes que enfrentan las mujeres dentro de su propia sociedad, así como motivar a los jóvenes a participar en algunas de las soluciones a estos problemas.

El lado de investigación lo vengo avanzando sola. Pensé que podría hacer un llamado al público para que participe con textos o con imágenes narrando cual es el rol de la mujer en su sociedad y si creen que hay estereotipos creados. Por el momento el lado gráfico no avanza mucho, tenía pensado realizar un video de presentación con las imágenes para acompañar la investigación. Los resultados los compartiré con organizaciones femeninas o simplemente, con quien lo desee.

This project has three goals:

a. To increase awareness about some stereotypes created either by the media or by other societies with respect to the representations of women in various cultures.

b. To portray how the growing political, economic, and social influence of women can have a positive effect on society.

c. To portray the common problems that women face in their own society, as well as to motivate young people to participate in some of the solutions to these problems.

I continue working on the research side by myself. I figured I could call upon the public to contribute text or images narrating the role of women in their society, and to share whether they believe there are established stereotypes. At the moment the graphical presentation still needs work, I had thought of making a video with the images to accompany the research. I will share the results with women's organizations or with anyone that wishes to see it.

How can people participate in “What is the role of women in your society?”

Es simple. Solo deben enviar imágenes (fotos, videos o ilustraciones) sobre los estereotipos creados sobre la situación de la mujer en su sociedad, y/o sobre el rol de la misma en la comunidad.

It's easy. They should simply send images (photos, videos, or illustrations) that show the established stereotypes and status of women in their society, and/or about the role of women in the community.

Finally, where do you see Mujeres Mundi in the near future? Have you thought about publishing these interviews in a book or other format?

La primera etapa del proyecto esta en curso, que es la publicación on-line. Dentro de un año y medio se trabajarán los textos y ciertos perfiles en un libro, exactamente. Pero el objetivo final (y a más largo plazo) es de crear un documental con perfiles de ciertas de nuestras entrevistadas, de cuatro a cinco minutos por perfil.

La idea de crear una revista y un organismo Mujeres Mundi ronda mi cabeza, pero es un trabajo mayor y se necesitará de un equipo de trabajo así como de fondos. Quiero que la primera etapa cobre una forma más importante aún para poder subir los siguientes escalones!

The first stage of the project, online publication, is underway. Within a year and a half, the text and certain profiles will be put in a book, yes. But the final goal (in the longer term) is to make a documentary with certain profiles of our interviewed women, spending four to five minutes on each profile.The idea of creating a magazine and a Mujeres Mundi organization is in my head, but it is a bigger job and a work team will be needed, as well as the funds. With the first stage, I can increase the importance of Mujeres Mundi, and then will be able to take the next steps!

You can follow Xaviera and Mujeres Mundi on Twitter and on Facebook.

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