Silvia Diez Urdanivia
This profile was prepared when Silvia Diez Urdanivia was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
The scattered data available suggest that violations of personal and reproductive rights of women by medical personnel are not infrequent in Mexico. Service providers recount stories of women who visited a local clinic with a cold, for example, but left implanted with an intrauterine contraceptive device; or women who had tubal ligations without their knowledge after giving birth. Silvia tackles these violations by bringing information and education to both women and health care providers. Rather than emphasizing the education and empowerment of women as a means to penalize the violators, thus creating further rancor and hostility, she engages both parties in a constructive dialogue aimed at creating mechanisms for preventing future violations.