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TLDR? Medellin women have established many different programs and foundations that contribute to what the women of the city are- strong, enterprising leaders.
The women of Medellin are known around the world for their striking beauty, but these women are much more than just good looks.
They really are powerful, strong, and enterprising, with a rich history of feminist movements and political leadership, which with the cooperation of the government of Medellín, have helped to establish gender equality standards and improve their economic conditions.
Read on to find out more about what Medellin women are really like.
Medellín has a rich history of women entrepreneurs and gender revolutionaries who paved the road to a better future for many women today.
Among them, there are painters, writers, nuns, and politicians who have fought for gender equality and better lives for women. Some of the women who made history in Medellín and helped the community are:
Women in this city have had to fight for many years from different areas, against gender violence that occurs through domestic and sexual abuse, but as in many places in the world, it continues to be something faced on a daily basis.
Due to these circumstances, many women have raised their voices and have created movements providing support to women who have suffered this type of abuse, providing crucial support & resources, and helping them to be strong and resilient.
Antioquia is also home to many of the more than 40% of women in Colombia who, due to different situations, are solely in charge of maintaining their homes financially.
It is for these reasons that Medellín has birthed movements such as Mujeres que Crean, which provides programs for the prevention of violence against women.
Another group, the Mujeres de Comunas movement aims to help single mothers to be entrepreneurs and to, as the country people say, echa pa’lante (keep going).
Another important resource established in Medellín is the 123 Phone Line available to be called for psychological or legal assistance, and placement in foster homes for women who suffer from violence.
Medellín is also home to many greatly successful women entrepreneurs.
A clear example is Alicia Mejía, founder of the famous annual Colombiamoda and Colombiatex event, and Mariana Pajón, an olympic gold-medal winning BMX cyclist who, through her foundation, helps others follow their athletic dreams.
In addition to having women who inspire, Medellín also has different movements that help low-income women to follow their own dreams. Here are some of these resources:
Medellín, unlike many other cities in Colombia, has a wide variety of programs and opportunities to support women in advocating for themselves and working toward their dreams.
I’m not going to tell you about the gorgeous women that you can easily find by taking a walk around the city, because the women of Medellín, in addition to being beautiful, are natural leaders.
These types of women are closer to what paisas, empowered and strong women, are in essence.
Among the paisas women who have suffered abuse, poverty and social inequality of any kind, leaders have been born who are currently thanks to whom the city continues to fight for gender equality and female empowerment.
Below are some of the groups of women who fight every day for economic and emotional independence, teaching the country and the world what it means to be a paisa leader:
The Women’s Secretary in Medellín is a city government organization that works toward gender equality and generates new opportunities for women.
Its main mission is to stop gender-based discrimination in any social, economic, and cultural sphere. Those in charge of the organization generate leadership strategies through workshops and dialogs with various groups of women of different ages and walks of life.
In addition to this, it seeks to take care of and provide security to women through its management and the policies of the city, since unfortunately in Medellín domestic violence still continues.
This group, made by women, for women, was created just over three years ago. It’s mission is to provide support to young women in discussions about sexuality and feminism.
They seek women that are older and experienced for leadership roles. But, they also have a more youthful approach to generate greater understanding.
This group also supports transgender individuals, without being limited to only cisgender women. This helps promote the intersectional diversity that fights for women’s rights.
For more than 20 years, this group of women activists and feminists have provided direct support to women living in active war zones.
In addition to providing political advocacy for women’s rights over their bodies and their freedom, they work to help move forward peace negotiations in armed conflicts around Columbia with direct action and political involvement.
They have been behind the implementation of laws in favor of women, such as stronger domestic/sexual violence defense and economic support, among others.
This network of women created more than 15 years ago seeks to support women and young people whose lives have been affected by armed conflict.
The group helps women create their own businesses such as craft shops and tour services. With the help of benefactors, they founded their own restaurant to generate more income to provide these resources.
If you visit The Commune 13, just ask for the Berracas and ask for a tour. Or, you can ask for directions to visit their famous restaurant.
If you are interested in making a contribution directly to the foundations that support women in Medellín, here is a list of some of places to do so:
In addition to these foundations, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín holds free events that specifically focus on support for women.
If you are planning to travel to Medellín alone, it’s not something you should worry about. Women do it all the time, and not only in Medellín!
I had the experience of meeting an Argentine woman who traveled throughout Latin America alone. For her, it was the most comfortable way to travel. The truth is that everything is a matter of doing a little research.
As a traveler in Medellín, it has been a fantastic experience. People are friendly wherever you go, whether you’re in a restaurant or just strolling through the streets.
It is a place that truly is safe for women who travel alone, and a city full of fun things to explore.
You don’t even have to worry much about your language limitations. Due to the number of tourists that visit daily, many businesses have adopted signs, menus, and have staff available who are fluent in English to make us travelers feel more comfortable.
Pro-Tip: If at any time you feel that you need some company to have fun, you can sign up for one of the many different events that take place in the city to find new places and friends.
It can sometimes be difficult to find fun things to do on your own. However, Medellín is full of adventures that women can enjoy without the need for any kind of company.
Here are a couple of fun and safe things you can do as a solo female traveler in Medellin.
One of my very favorite pastimes as a woman has been getting to know the history of the paisas and their culture. This is why it is the first item on the list that you should not miss if you travel here!
Medellín has a long list of museums for all tastes where you not only learn about about the city’s culture and history. Or, check out interactive places such as the Museo del Agua.
I suggest you visit the Museo de Arte Moderno. They’ve got a great exhibit about one of the women who made history in Medellín, Débora Arango.
Exercise is the best activity to take away some stress. Take a walk, go running, or try renting a bike via the public transportation system.
My personal recommendation is exploring the hills of the city, because they are ideal for hiking. Plus, that way you can enjoy the different views around various parts of the city. You could start with Cerro Nutibara, located in commune 16.
If you want to do something more challenging, you can try other activities such as swimming, cycling, or visiting one of the city’s many gyms.
If you need to do some work, you don’t have to stay at home. Medellín has very good spaces to do coworking with amenities and strong internet.
You can find many different styles. There are even some where their space is so large that you can change offices daily.
They are located in different places around the city, so find out which one is closest to your Airbnb.
You’re in one of the cities with the greatest nightlife. So, as a foreigner, learning to dance is almost an obligation.
You don’t need to become a professional, but you should definitely go dancing in Medellín. Luckily, there are tons of different dance schools for many types of musical genres so that you learn to move without shame.
If you like a challenge, you can even find pole dance schools or become an expert at dancing tango. There are no limits!
When you’re a book lover, a good book is always welcomed company. So if you are living in Medellín, you need to know that in addition to touring museums, this city has a great list of bookstores.
This is your chance to perfect your Spanish with a book in the language, or if you feel more comfortable with a book in English, don’t worry, bookstores are equipped with these as well.
I recommend looking for bookstores like 9 3/4, which in addition to being a recognized name for many readers, is a place where you can start reading your new book accompanied by a rich paisa coffee.
Now that you know more of the real story of Medellin women, you can get the most out of your experience in the city. Plus, you can also help to give other women a better experience and future.
If you have the opportunity to support any of these movements or organizations, you can be part of the change.
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