My name is Consuelo Ruiz-Jarabo Quemada and I declare myself a humanist, a defender of peace and a feminist. Since I was young, I have been aware of how important it is to participate and to be involved in initiatives for solidarity, and that has been my life. I am convinced that combining all our will and energy is the best way to transform and make a better world.
From 1974 to 2014, I worked as a clinical biochemist at a public hospital (National Health Service) in Madrid, Spain. During those years, and particularly since 1980, I joined with various groups to work on gender issues in the Spanish Health Services, carrying out training activities that explored the socio-political aspects of health and disease. A central aspect of our work involved investigating the implications of gendered experiences of the body, emotions, thoughts, sexuality, spirituality and relationships between people – in other words, the relationship between gender, health and disease. Through this work, I came to co-author the book La violencia contra las mujeres. Prevención y detección (Violence against Women Prevention and Detection), which was published in 2004 in Madrid.
During the 80s, I participated in the Women for Health and Peace task force, which we transformed into Women in Black against War (Madrid, Spain) as a result of the conflict in the Balkans. Since then, I have attended several international meetings about displaced persons with this organization: in Novi Sad (now Serbia, 1992), in the Ulcinj (Montenegro, 1993), and in Cape Town, South Africa (2018).
Nowadays, I devote my time to working for social justice, gender equality and empowerment of women. In this context, I would like to point to: coordination of the solidarity project JIGEEN AK JIGEEN, working for the empowerment, development of microfinance and training of women in Saint Louis, Senegal (since 2004); workshops for the self-knowledge and personal growth of women under the title Workshop for Empirical Educators at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) (2008); a workshop on the Labyrinths of Everyday Life in Granada, Nicaragua, addressed to a group of women in a rural area (2011); and a personal growth workshop for women and health staff of the municipality of Colmenar in Madrid, Spain (2017 to date).
In 2010 I participated in the team that conducted the field work for research on gender and health in Equatorial Guinea, and Informe sobre Género y Salud en Atención Primaria en Guinea Ecuatorial (Report on Gender and Health in Primary Care in Equatorial Guinea) was published 2012. More recently (July 2017), I participated with Women in Black in the International Meeting at Coulport Disarmament Camp at Trident Ploughshares (Scotland), as well as in the 2018 meeting for the 4th anniversary of the El Tarajal conflict in Ceuta (Spain).
But the most important thing that I would like say about myself is that I am a woman of conscience, committed to the times I am living in and – together with many others – involved in the construction of a better world for all women, men and other creatures that inhabit this planet.