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Ibeth Zamora, a champion who fights against gender violence in Mexico

Ibeth Zamora, a champion who fights against gender violence in Mexico

Mexican Ibeth Zamora, World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight champion, fights every time she steps into the ring, as she will in her ninth title defense, but she also fights another battle every day against gender-based violence. in your community.
Zamora, 28 years old and a professional since 2007, has used his fame to help and represent the women of San Cristóbal Huichochitlán, a rural area north of Toluca, State of Mexico, where – he says – that of what is still lived “If you are a woman and they treat you badly, that is fine and normal and if they hit you, then you had to be a woman and no way.”
In an interview with Efe, Ibeth remembers that since she was a child, her parents educated her and her siblings so that they would not be left with the idea of ​​just being a mother or father and taking care of their children.
“We were educated in a different way, but you see that in your environment it is not like that and you realize that what is good is to educate yourself to be a mother and to be a housewife”, she points out.
Faced with this scenario, which he described as “a bit complicated” and from which he continues to “learn”, Zamora began to act and fight “another fight” to help his fellow men.
The fighter, who studies international law online at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, dedicated herself to supporting women victims of violence. “We try to give support and direct them to the appropriate bodies to advise them,” he points out.
Ibeth herself continues to be singled out and despite the fact that she has shown that she is a high-performance athlete, with 32 fights -27 wins and five defeats-, she continues to be the subject of insults in the Otomí language, which is spoken in her community and in some states of Mexico.
“Men say in Otomí ‘she is a machorra’, (a woman who carries out an activity that is conventionally attributed to men) because I have a different activity than what a woman ‘should do’,” he says.
Although that behavior hurts him, he says, “you have to show strength so that you can help those who also suffer some kind of violence, (be it physical or psychological).”
She relates that many housewives approach her and tell her what happens to them in their daily life with their partner “and many times they do not know which institutions to go to and where they are.”
“What I do is take advantage of the name of the ‘Roca’ Zamora to go with the institutions” so that they will pay attention to them, he indicates.
Because they are women from a rural and indigenous area, they are sometimes victims of racism or segregation. “They are always put aside and sometimes they are treated last or first by women from the city, a situation that I lived through all my childhood and part of my adolescence,” he says.
In addition to this work, the boxer helps women by introducing them to self-employment or entrepreneurship programs. “There they weave a lot in palm, they make caps (caps) and rugs, among other things, and they are told how they can be self-sufficient and not feel that they have to depend on a man to get ahead.”
Ibeth says that the process of change in her community “has been slow and very patient, because women believe that they have to put up with everything just because they are women.”
Zamora tries to put a grain of sand, in addition to being an example for many girls who since they have known her have approached the gym where she trains.
With 11 years as a professional, Zamora says that each case is different in women’s boxing, but that she has been able to live from this profession.
Although they do not pay him like men, he says that he is enough to live and dedicate himself only to boxing. “It’s something I like to do, in every fight I try to do my best,” says Zamora, who helped his parents start a grocery, grain and seed business, and later wants to open a cafeteria.
Zamora will defend his WBC light flyweight world title on Saturday against his compatriot Esmeralda “Joya” Moreno, with whom he has faced three times. Twice he won and one time he lost. EFE

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