We were established in 1977 as the ‘Grupo de estudios sobre la mujer Rosario Castellanos’ (GESMujer) to analyse the problems affecting women through reading and self-awareness. In the following thirteen years, we organised conferences, lectures, film debates, round tables, radio programs, and workshops on themes such as women in the workplace, legislation, education and health.
We were incorporated as a civil association on the 22nd February 1990 by notarial deed 1364, volume 34, as witnessed by public notary 51, Jorge Martinez Gracida y Bribiesca of the City of Oaxaca. We are an independent legal entity and, since the 12th October 1999, have been accorded the authorisation from the ‘Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público’ (SHCP) to receive tax-deductible donations.
In total, we have been campaigning for almost forty years not only for cultural diversity and gender equality, but for the respect of each woman’s human rights. This work includes the investigation, study and dissemination of information about inequality in all forms, be they familial, economic, political or legal with a view to generating awareness and promoting alternatives. It extends from the urban to the rural and indigenous communities.
At the outset, our meetings were basically discussion and study groups focused on understanding the position of women in Mexico and Oaxaca; and the relationship between their real life circumstances and their global environment. In 1978, we started the radio program “Foro de la Mujer” (‘Women’s Forum’) which was broadcast twice a week through radio Universidad. This brought us to organise conferences, film debates, round tables and interviews that were all open to the public.
At this time, there was a growing demand for our services and training. So it was that in 1990, at 301 Calle de Constitution in the centre of Oaxaca city we opened the ‘Casa de la Mujer “Rosario Castellanos”’; where we would offer services for seventeen years. Our current location is thanks to a loan from the ‘Hogar para la Joven Indígena “Marie Didier”’.