María José Cisneros-Cáceres
- Age: 30
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
As youth, we are the motor to a more equal and inclusive society where we can be free from social stigmas and prejudices. Our individual actions sum up, and the time to start is now. Together, we must educate and be educated to create a world in which we can be fearless and empower others to become their best versions.
- María José Cisneros-Cáceres
María José Cisneros-Cáceres is a passionate Ecuadorian activist and health leader. She started her activism at a young age while being a medical student and ever since she has been involved with social and health related issues, mainly sexual and reproductive health and rights, climate change and health, HIV/AIDS, migration, noncommunicable diseases, and youth leadership.
After practicing medicine for vulnerable population at the Amazon and working at the main respiratory center for Ecuador during the COVID-19 pandemic, María José came to find her passion in a raising necessity, improving medical education for all.
Working currently at a Digital Medical Platform, and doing research, she has taken the opportunity to change the narrative around education and has found amazing partners on her way. Advocacy is still a great part of her interests as she has been involved in several working groups of different UN System Agencies, as well as being part of high level political forums. She expects to keep working together, and to make our voices heard.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
I was born into a very supportive family in a very restrictive society, which from an early age inspired me to fight for what I believe. Every one of us deserves the chance to be their best version no matter where you come from or what your society wants to impose. We are bigger than social stigmas.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
Access to comprehensive health services and SHRH to women in a rural area from Ecuador, respecting their beliefs and educating all populations, especially young women and adolescents. It was a win since rural communities in Ecuador often have a patriarchal system and women in most cases don’t have access to information or the power to decide over their own bodies. The intervention provides them access to resources and education, and it has an impact in the community since many men were interested in the education as well.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
Boxing traning, gardening, running, and reading classic literature.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Spanish (Advanced/Native)
- Portuguese (Elementary)
- German (Elementary)
- meaningful youth engagement
- UHC and SRHR for migrants and refugees
- comprehensive healthcare services for indigenous populations
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Internship at the Pan American Health Organization Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Department