Gabriela Mendoza-Correa's Story
Mendoza-Correa was chosen to participate at the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) Inaugural Institute for Latin America in March 2013 while working at a non-governmental organization in Mexico advocating for quality education. She believes that her time spent at WPSP helped her to realize her full potential and to make the decisions needed to further her career path.
In September 2013, Mendoza-Correa started serving with the U.S. State Department on its diplomatic mission in Mexico as the Culture of Lawfulness Program Specialist at the Section of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. Since then she has accomplished many professional and personal goals. Her position enables her to help local non-governmental organizations advocating for respect for rule of law, human rights, and enhancing a culture of lawfulness.
Becoming part of the WPSP global network has leveraged her skills and potential to contribute to make a difference in her country by helping many civil society organizations on capacity building and sustainable programs.
"Most importantly," she states, "the WPSP has empowered me to help other women within these organizations to reach their full potential."
In 2014 she was invited to participate in the Mexican Vital Voices Walk that aims to bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in the communities. Since then Mendoza-Correa has had the joy of mentoring some young women to develop their careers, whilst finding a healthy balance in their personal and professional lives.
Mendoza-Correa learned many lessons during the two weeks spent in the WPSP program that she has applied in her daily life while encountering barriers. The most important of these, she emphasizes, is to raise her voice in a situation of injustice. She reiterates the well-known phrase that when we keep silent in a situation of injustice we have chosen the side of the oppressor. In this way, she has learned that raising her voice in such situations takes courage, and is not an easy endeavor, but is always worth it.
With a clean conscience, she states, one will feel empowered knowing you did the right thing to help others in need. You might as well set an example for others to come, she argues: not to feel afraid and raise their voices as well.
In the back of my head, I always remember Madeleine Albright’s famous quote, “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” While it is very unfortunate that I have encountered such women in my career, I have also had the opportunity to learn from those experiences. If we are to make any progress, we ought to start making men part of the equation on our path to equality and justice.
Feminism for me is not about girl power, it is also about finding our own full potential as human beings and sharing it with humanity, men included.