Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1996
Instituto de las Mujeres del Distrito Federal


This profile was prepared when Luz Beatriz Rosales Esteva was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1996.
The New Idea
The 1997 elections in Mexico City reflected citizens' demands for a more responsive government. Indeed, recent years have seen significant steps toward the attainment of truly democratic processes in Mexico. In Luz Rosales' vision of civil society, however, these reforms alone do not suffice.Luz is creating an organizational base for the promotion of a new citizen culture based on ethical principles such as respect for diversity and citizens' awareness of their own responsibility for assuming a role in social change. The culture Luz is developing includes not only electoral reform but also new standards and goals for citizen behavior in all aspects of life, from within the home to relationships with government institutions and officials. A significant difference in Luz's efforts from the host of other Mexican democratization activities is its emphasis on positive contributions. This represents a marked contrast to the overwhelming majority of citizen sector movements in Mexico, which are typified by a reactive, aggressive and often violent stance. She leverages the proliferation of nascent citizen mobilizations and is creating a system to help them develop a lasting ability to participate effectively in public affairs.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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