"These themes are vitally related to our mission that is, the right to life without violence, sexual and reproductive rights, economic rights, political and civil rights."
The Manuela Ramos Movement came to life in Peru in 1978. It is a feminist organization whose goal is to procure conditions of equality amongst women and men, as well as a plural and democratic society where human rights and social justice prevail. In that sense, the Manuela Ramos Movement contributes to the development and strengthening of women's skills and abilities with a view on promoting and exercising their civil and human rights.
"Manuela Ramos is the name we chose to acknowledge the thousands of women who in their everyday struggle anonymously contribute to the making of history," explains Alicia Villanueva, one of the Movement's founders. "The Movement was born with a group of Peruvian women interested in contributing to create favorable changes for women so they could fully enjoy their citizenship, including gender equality.
"The Manuela Ramos Movement is governed by the Associates' Assembly which includes 14 women, of which four of us are the actual founders. Our mission statement is 'To contribute to human development and to the consolidation of democracy with gender equality, beginning with women's empowerment.'
"Our main thematic axes are gender, intercultural aspects, human rights, the environment, and natural and sustainable resources. These themes are vitally related to our mission that is, the right to life without violence, sexual and reproductive rights, economic rights, political and civil rights.
"For the area of economic rights, we work with women from 13 regions who live in rural areas or in the periphery of bigger cities. The level of economic development for these women is quite uneven: many of them work for a local or regional market, and of these, very few are working traditional arts and crafts that would meet international market standards.
"Seeing this need, in 1993 we built The House of the Woman Artisan, an institutional project aimed at gathering women artisans from around the country and help them place in the market the products they have crafted with their hands. We offer training, consultancy and credit. We work with women from different regions who specialize in different traditional art forms such as: alpaca wool hand-knit women's apparel and dolls, as well as embroidered tapestries and cushion covers from Puno; alpaca wool and cotton hand-knit and crochet women's apparel and dolls from Ayacucho; alpaca wool and cotton hand-knit and crochet women's accessories as well as hand-painted cotton tablecloths from Huanuco; hand-painted Shipibo cotton tablecloths and natural fibers paper from Ucayali and San Martin; wool and cotton weaves as well as ceramics from Chulucanas; hand-embroidered tablecloths and placemats, as well as hand-woven reed hats, bags, baskets and placemats from Lambayeque, and from Lima, alpaca wool and cotton hand-knit and crochet women's apparel.
"Since the Manuela Ramos Movement began in 1978, we have helped over 800 thousand people across the country by promoting the richness of their talents and the fruits of their hard work. It's a grain of salt that when added all up makes a mountain. Thank you for your support."