Mexico City – Mexico’s Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio and computer programmer Paola Villarreal were among the remarkable women on the BBC’s list of the 100 Most Inspiring and Influential Women for 2019. To determine who would make the list this year, the BBC asked: “What would the future look like if it were driven by women?”
The two Mexicanas share the spotlight with other impressive women from around the world, like teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg, American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale and Malaysian transgender rights activist Nisha Ayub.
The list, published on October 16, is divided into six categories: Earth, Knowledge, Leadership, Creativity, Sports and Identity, and many of these women are driving change on behalf of women everywhere. “They give us their vision of what life could look like in 2030,” the BBC said.
A Mixtec woman from the state of Oaxaca, Yalitza Aparicio worked as an elementary school teacher before she was chosen to play the leading role in Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning film, Roma, and became the first indigenous woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for best actress.
She now advocates for gender equality, the rights of indigenous communities and constitutional protection for domestic workers.
“The ideal future for women is one in which we achieve gender equality,” she told the BBC. “A future where we have the same rights and the same opportunities as men. In the workplace, a future in which our pay is fair and we are compensated for the value of our work, would be a good start.”
A self-trained computer programmer, Paola Villarreal helped to overturn 20,000 racially biased drug sentences through the development of Data for Justice, a tool with an interactive map that compares police activity in white and minority neighborhoods. That project resulted in her receiving the MIT Innovators Under 35 Latam Award in 2018.
“There is still time to use data and technology to redistribute power among those that have been historically forgotten,” she said. “If we don’t do it now, the data and technology will only automate the status quo and all the biases and inequalities that currently exist.”
Source: El Financiero