Fellow Since 2004
This profile was prepared when Marguiorina Balbuena Cardozo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Through her organization CONAMURI, Marguiroina is bringing together women from both peasant and indigenous communities—two groups that have long been at odds—as a unified political force working for social and economic change. Although women have been active in Paraguay’s social reform movements for some time, their role has never been fully recognized. CONAMURI works to strengthen women’s voices by building their capacity for action and promoting gender equality in the legal, social, and familial arenas. Through an interchange of knowledge and joint participation in seminars, fundraising, and activism, these two long-marginalized groups of women have found common ground and a stronger base from which to fight for women’s rights and other issues that affect their lives. And by partnering with civil society organizations as well as government and international agencies, CONAMURI has for the first time created a space for Paraguayan women to participate in a meaningful way in national and international dialogue.