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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Blanca Haydee Lopez

Blanca Haydee Lopez

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I am a former judge, lawyer and teacher from El Salvador. Currently I am in my last semester of the Master in Legal Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. My research is focused on Refugee Law and domestic violence persecution cases. Through my work at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa with the Women and War and the Women of Colour Outreach Programs, I am always working with vulnerable and marginalized female populations on issues of power and oppression in relation to sexual abuse, rape, harassment, sexual exploitation, domestic and gender violence, migration, cultural differences, and myths and stereotypes.

All my professional and personal life has been oriented to work for the advancement of Social Justice, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. I am a women’s rights and social justice activist, and I truly believe that social changes are necessary and possible. Oxfam’s vision and mission are in line with my beliefs and activism to achieve social justice, eradicate poverty and oppression and achieve women’s rights and gender equality around the world.

I started volunteering in May 2007, helping with logistics for Oxfam’s National Assembly. Having the opportunity to learn about Oxfam work and meet some of its members from across Canada and partners from around the world who came to the Assembly made me realize that Oxfam is an organization with very concrete objectives where I can see real actions translated into concrete results. One particular experience I gained was meeting Oxfam partners from the Americas and learning about initiatives Oxfam supports in the region, such as the ‘Men Stand up for Women’s Rights’ program in Nicaragua.

Since then, I have volunteered with translation of documents and intepretation, have participated in campaign meetings and helped with tabling at activities such as the Ottawa Folk Festival and the National Women’s Show. Oxfam’s ‘For All’ campaign promoting access to public services and work to respond to humanitarian crisis, natural disasters and conflict continues to make me feel motivated tostay involved with Oxfam.

For me, the most rewarding experience as an Oxfam member has been the opportunity to work with such wonderful people and feel part of the Oxfam family. The organizations’ openness to new members and their dedication to their commitments has helped me me learn a lot and be willing to continue volunteer for Oxfam.

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