Adriana, Estefania, and Sara make up La Siembra, a rap group dedicated to promoting social change. They want to make the violence that young girls and women face in Colombia known and urge people to reject it.
However, their efforts have not always been supported, as 24-year-old singer, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist Estefania told us.
The genre is still led by men and many of us are not taken seriously.
“Being women of different generations and doing rap has not been easy. The genre is still led by men and many of us are not taken seriously. However, those who see us singing love and support us.”
She is confident in the power of speaking out about the issues she is passionate about and becoming a leading figure in her community.
“Our feminist and activist lyrics cause surprise and break long-standing stereotypes. We feel that in many different spaces leadership is exercised with masculine strength, even in female environments, but we have also met women who have fought against any type of stereotype and are today building a leadership forged in struggle, union and of course, in sisterhood.”
Taking the lead: tackling toxic masculinity
It is vital that girls and women take the lead, so their unique needs are taken seriously. Our latest report, Taking the Lead: girls and young women on changing the face of leadership, found that 62% of the 10,000 girls and young women interviewed were confident in their abilities to lead. However, 9 out of 10 of them believe women leaders will suffer discrimination and harassment.
La Siembra believe in the strength and power of women across the generations to create change in their communities and countries.
“When women take formal and informal spaces to make our struggle visible, we have the ability to recognise the greatness of others: we are informed, organised and focused on our task. We are trailblazers, striving each day to win the fight for true equality.”
Three generations working towards equality
Not only do La Siembra perform concerts, they also hold workshops.
“We encourage other girls to rebuild and weave the bonds between women,” says Estefania who is also a teacher. She strongly believes that the key to breaking down inequality is through co-operation and creating a collective power. At the workshops she provides girls and young women with the artistic tools to support and learn from each other in the name of sisterhood.
"We meet as a group to learn, inform and support each other in a spirit of sisterhood. Everyone is our sister and our ally."
Everyone is our sister and ally.
Adriana is mother to Estefania and Sara. She is a 49-year-old with a love for singing and playing the piano. She faces a daily struggle fighting the ‘machismo’ (toxic masculinity) within her family home. Through La Siembra she continues to encourage young girls and women to raise their voices and fight for their rights.
At 11-years-old Sara is the youngest in the group and is very direct when it comes to her activism. She encourages everyone to understand girls’ rights.
La Siembra are not afraid to use their talents as rappers to fight for equality.
“There are still spaces where people do not want to hear our voices. But, every day we grow. We are united fighters who together will show the world the truth about the importance of equality."
Changing the face of leadership
To learn more about girls’ and women’s leadership ambitions and how they are redefining what it means to be powerful, read our latest report.