CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- A Juárez artist and activist is finding a way to merge activism, fashion and art together in order to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women in Juárez, and she’s getting national attention for it.
"We created this association to see a change in the lives of other women, but the principle reason for it was to create secure job spaces and also to invest in the development of the personal skills of the women that are working with us," said Janette Terrazas, Co-Founder of the Nonprofit Organization, 'Ni En More' which comes from the blend of Spanish, Norwegian and English words meaning “Not One More.”
Terrazas, along with artists Lise Bjorne Linnert (Oslo, Norway) and Human Rights activist Veronica Corchado (Juárez, Mexico) were inspired to create 'Ni En More' to empower women in Juárez through their garment production.
All three women were motivated by the poetry of Susana Chávez Castillo, who protested the constant murders against women in Juárez —before becoming a victim herself in 2011.
"We are protesting against the violence against women because we know that it is something that is rooted in our culture," said Terrazas.
The organization currently employees about 15 women that come from many different economic and cultural backgrounds. All of the products that the women from 'Ni En More' make are sold and the income that they receive is given to the women that are working in the program in order to allow them to to invest in their community.
"Here, every person that is working knows how to cut. They know how to make patterns and they know how to sew whole pieces. It takes 60 hours to make one garment,” said Terrazas.
The organizations one of a kind flower dresses were recently featured in Vogue magazine online. The photos were taken in El Paso right in front of the Franklin Mountains.
For Terrazas, empowering women in her community is something she is proud to do.
"We create awareness for the process of production and also for paying fair jobs for the production of the pieces we create. I think one of the philosophies that we have is to create happy spaces for everyone so they can come here and feel secure,” said Terrazas.
She hopes that creating a safe work place for women in her community will help motivate them to become more economically empowered.
"Because when women are economically empowered they could make decisions to help them create a better life. They have more options to move from the abuse or violence that they are living in now,” said Terrazas.