Having been born in Guatemala in the 60s, I really did not like having been born a girl.  I felt as a girl there were many things we were not allowed to do; we had less freedom, and life ahead looked like a cooking recipe  – our future was already determined for us.

As time has passed by, as I have become a wife, a mother of three, and a social entrepreneur, I realize that being a woman is actually a gift, especially when we are willing to NOT follow that recipe and take risks.

Today I tell you this: it’s not only a beautiful time to be a woman; it’s a privilege.

This is how I would summarize the exciting times for us as women. I do not mean to imply that all the challenges around gender are solved. There is still far to go. For me, the privilege of being a woman comes from seeing that we, as women, have realized our power, our gifts and talents, and if we want, we have it in our hands to be big agents of change for our families, for our communities, for our planet.  This is the privilege I am talking about.

I believe, because we can give life (whether we are mothers or not), our connection to life is different.  Our connection to people is different.  Our connection to our planet is different.  We are holistic creatures.  We want goodness not just for us, we want goodness also for others.  This is our nature.

I am an idealist and an optimist.  I also know things are not perfect between women, but I also know that empowered women know how to lift others so all our talents come through.  And I know that once this movement of women lifting women grows, it will not only be better for our girls, it will be better for the planet. The gifts women bring are so needed these days. The leadership that women bring is so needed these days. We need more peace, more taking care of people and the Earth, more collaboration than competition, more empathy than polarization, more US, rather than more we and them.

As I write this, it is the month where, in the US, the American Heart Association focuses our attention on women’s heart health, and next month is Women’s History Month, which includes International Women’s Day. While we celebrate women all year long here at Wakami, these two months are special. A big part of the Wakami experience is to work with women to create healthy homes, to help them understand nutrition so they can raise healthy children, to provide pathways to education, and to help them become leaders who will inspire others.

When we say every bracelet makes a difference, it is more than putting money in the hands of women who were previously living in poverty. It is much more. Every purchase also helps fund the programs that allow women to escape the “recipe” that was previously written for their lives and to fully live the gifts of their birth.

Helping them do that is my privilege.

Maria Pacheco

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