Nora Castañeda is an economist committed to her work with the Venezuelan people. She has been fighting for the rights of women, both from inside the academic world and out in the community. She was the driving force behind the creation of the Coordination of Women's Non-Governmental Organizations and the Center for Women's Studies. She has supported the reform of several laws and the incorporation of gender issues into the constitution. She is the President of the Women's Bank, which gives poor women the means to have a better future.
She was born into a humble family, in Caracas, in 1942. Her mother, who was of a peasant origin, was a “father and a mother at the same time.” From her mother, Nora Castañeda inherited her love of studying and honorable work. “La profa”–as her fellows call her–came from a generation greatly influenced by the happenings in France in 1968. In the 1970s, she was one of those mobilizing to strive for the necessary social and political changes in her country. Already involved in organizations with other women within the left-wing political movement, they began to think about the situation of their own lives. That was the birth of the Venezuelan Feminist Movement. She graduated as an economist and, for 33 years, worked as a professor at the Central University of Venezuela, where she was head of the Faculty. Besides her work within the academic world, she worked outside in the community and was the driving force behind the creation of the Coordination of Women's Non-Governmental Organizations and of the Center for Women's Studies. She also supported the reform of several laws and the incorporation of gender issues into the constitution. Due to her long history of work within the female movement, she was elected as president of the Bank of the Women (Banmujer), under the current administration of President Hugo Chávez. With this post, Nora Castañeda plans to give needy Venezuelan women the possibility of improving their quality of life. “We do not want women to be poor and in debt. We do not want them to be managing on the poverty line.” The project's aim is to build an economic model with gender equality.
Bank of the Woman (Banmujer)