Using ‘Purple Glasses’ to Achieve Gender Equity in Mexico
Luz María Velázquez & Patricia Torres -
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March 11, 2024

Gender inequalities have deep and complex roots in economic, social, and political structures around the world. (Raffi Marhaba/The Dream Creative)

Gender inequalities have deep and complex roots in economic, social, and political structures around the world. Women everywhere face persistent obstacles that limit their potential and freedom, and undermine their well-being and fundamental rights. This challenge has different nuances in each continent, country, and community.

In Latin America, the culture of machismo - a strong sense of masculine pride - contributes to widespread sexism, including the lack of acknowledgement that women that do the same jobs as men get paid less, and high rates of gender-based violence. For instance, women earn 17 percent less than men in equivalent job roles, and one in three women face gender-based violence. These entrenched social norms deeply impact women’s lives and opportunities. They also inhibit women’s equal representation in areas of power and decision-making, in both political and economic spheres, thus perpetuating gender inequity and violence in the region.

Purple Glasses to Innovate

All Women Coo aims to transform these cultural dynamics and remove common barriers to gender equity. One important part of our approach is inviting all people to “put on purple glasses,” an expression for analyzing different situations with a gender perspective. It is inspired by Gemma Lienas’s book, El Diario Violeta de Carlota, an exploration of gender roles and stereotypes via a young girl’s journey uncovering and challenging subtle and overt instances of gender inequity in everyday life. For us, putting on purple glasses means observing the world in a way that considers gender inequities, socially assigned roles and stereotypes, and the intersectionality of experiences that women marginalized by gender have encountered.

Our methodology incorporates a few fundamental elements, including understanding the realities of a given problem and empathizing with the experiences of the people involved in and affected by it. We create a diverse team of stakeholders who highlight the local realities and challenges of women, and reflect on what needs to happen. We co-create with and for women, using our purple glasses to foster critical questioning, scientific argumentation, and the integral analysis of variables related to social problems. This process also integrates quantitative research tools and qualitative ones such as mind maps, empathy interviews, and surveys that enhance information we obtain from direct interactions with women and ensure that our findings are appropriately contextualized. Innovation thus becomes a powerful tool driven by the intellectual participation of women from diverse contexts.

We also work to translate our solutions into real-world opportunities for women. This involves collaborating with women leaders in business and academia around the world, which extends the impact of our work locally and creates valuable professional relationships and partnerships. Together, we detect, design, plan, execute, and evaluate actions and projects, setting short, medium, and long-term goals. The prototyping and iteration stages of project development are continuous. Based on feedback and ongoing analysis, we iterate on solutions until we arrive at ones that are not only innovative, but also deeply resonant with the real needs and contexts of the women we aim to empower.

Our efforts address more than the symptoms of gender inequity. We also tackle its structural causes so that our impact is comprehensive and enduring. Communicating our achievements to allies and the community is an essential part of generating effective and sustainable results.

Our projects include business initiatives and community actions, and showcase women’s ingenuity, resolve, and leadership, contributing significantly to gender equity.

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Related: Guadalajara Is Painted Purple; More Than 50 Thousand People Attend Women's Day March (Tribuna de la Bahia)

Related: Women Flood the Malecon to Shout for Justice and Equality (

Related: Affirmative Action Is Under Attack. How Did We Get Here? (The Washington Post)

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