Herminia Fajardo, Asiria Álvarez, Victoria Hernández, Mapi Ojeda and Cristina Fernández spoke from social action and art to scientific dissemination.
Five inspiring women from the fields of art, scientific dissemination, journalism and activism shared their experiences with twenty students in the last training session of the LiderA+ project, an initiative of the Opciónate organisation to promote feminist leadership and encourage new forms of horizontal participation with a gender, intercultural and intersectional perspective, as well as laying the foundations for the establishment of new sorority networks.
The project has been supported by the Department of Social Policy, Accessibility, Equality and Diversity of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, directed by Isabel Mena, through the grants for the development of the ‘Strategic Framework for Equality Gran Canaria Infinita’ for the year 2023, aimed at non-profit organisations.
The face-to-face sessions took place at the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in a room provided by this institution attached to the Department of Culture of the Council of Gran Canaria. The process of personal counselling for women to identify internal and external gender beliefs and barriers, the development of skills to overcome them, the increase of self-knowledge, personal and professional empowerment and the elaboration of an individual action plan to improve their personal leadership in the field of their choice is still underway.
The meeting on 15 November featured the intervention of the photographer and graphic designer with a gender perspective Asiria Álvarez, trained at the EASDGC, where she discovered that creation is also a way to make social and political impact. Her work has been developed within the field of equality and art, carrying out various workshops, participatory processes, campaigns, as well as within the framework of design and photography.
The vision of social worker, anthropologist and humanist therapist Victoria Hernández Reyes was also present. She has developed her professional career in the field of migration. She currently coordinates a reception centre for migrants in CEAR. For the last two years she has been leading her personal project ‘Vicky a Trozos’, in which she uses the artistic technique of collage to create a story in which the protagonist is always a woman who expresses herself and shows herself through different emotions and states.
The founder of Oceanográfica and environmental and climate activist Cristina Fernández Gil also took the floor. She has been a member of the UNESCO Chair in Marine and Coastal Sustainability for 21 years. She is a member of the environmental associations Latitud Azul and Barrios Verdes. She has also won the Women Startup Europe Awards.
Those attending the conference also listened to the interesting reflections of the feminist journalist Herminia Fajardo Feo, considered to be the first woman to professionally practice journalism in the Canary Islands. In 2008, she was named Adoptive Daughter of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. She developed an extensive militancy within the feminist movement since the early seventies through the Asociación de Mujeres Canarias, the Coordinadora Feminista en la Red Canaria de Mujeres and the Colectivo de Mujeres Canarias, entities with which she published the studies ‘El integrismo o la pérdida de la identidad’ (Integralism or the loss of identity) and ‘Mujeres Premios Nobel’ (Nobel Prize Women).
For her part, Mapi Ojeda presented her actions as an influencer on social networks and activist for self-love. She has spent 10 years on social media trying to change the mentality to help people who suffer from body self-rejection. She is known for her advocacy of the body positive movement, which promotes acceptance and appreciation of all bodies. She is part of the Bella Curvy programme, which empowers many women and allows them to express their right to feel beautiful and valuable.