The Micaela Act was presented at UTN Buenos Aires

Eng. Néstor García, Micaela’s father and UTNFRCDU’s Dean explained the scope of the Act, its enactment and how Universities started adhering to it.

Publicada el 10 de julio de 2019

Eng. Néstor García, Dean of UTN Facultad Regional Concepción del Uruguay, presented the 27.499 Act named after his daughter Micaela, at UTNBA Aula Magna. The Act establishes the permanent and mandatory training of all National State workers of any rank or hierarchy, in mechanisms of action and prevention of gender violence.

The event was attended by National deputy Dr. Analía Rach Quiroga, vice-president of the Family, Woman, Childhood and Adolescence Commission of the National Chamber of Deputies and the driving force behind the Act, Dr. Marisa Herrera, specialist in law and CONICET researcher, and Eng. Guillermo Oliveto, UTN Buenos Aires’ Dean.

Rach Quiroga went over the act drafting process, its discussion in the Congress, and its scope. “This Act was the result of a great collective work,” she emphasized.

“We’re working everyday to have a fairer nation and, surely, a nation which Micaela dreamt of,” the legislator pointed out.

According to Dr. Marisa Herrera, “we owe this debate to the girls who have ideals, the fight for a fairer society; that is why Micaela Act exists”.

“I really thank Yuyo– she continued- for turning his pain into action because few people have the soundness, maturity, insight to come and propose an absolutely human bill because he did not want revenge but, like his daughter, a much fairer society.”

In turn, Oliveto said that “what Marisa said is true: laws can be excellent but if there isn’t a real cultural change, a real social commitment, it is really difficult for laws to achieve the objective pursued when creating or enacting them.”

The Dean recalled that on June 28, 2018, UTN approved the Institutional Action Protocol against Gender Violence created and presented by Eng. Julieta Martino, who at that moment was a UTNBA Student Counselor: “It was an essential landmark for the history of our University, especially because this is the Universidad Obrera Nacional, it is a University where practically only Engineering courses are taught. And it has a tremendously macho component, historically macho, and with a deeply rooted macho culture. Approving this protocol, I said at that moment, made me very proud as a technologist. Because approving this, at this University, means we are going through a different path.”

“To apply this Gender protocol approved by the University –he continued– we created the Area of University Social Commitment which had the task of implementing and interpreting the protocol. On balance, I’m proud of what we are doing both as a School and as a University.”

To finish, Oliveto thanked Deputy Rach Quiroga and Dr. Marisa Herrera, “and I would like to especially thank my friend Yuyo García, for whom I have not only enormous respect but also great admiration. Because as Marisa said, he could turn pain into fight. And from the worst tragedy a human being may suffer, he managed to create rights. Making Micaela’s fight his own undoubtedly makes her remain present in our memory.”

The closing of the event was in charge of Eng. García, who stated that “it will be hard to recover from these emotions, from the Deputy, Marisa and Guillermo’s words. Sitting here, where the University stopped being elitist and started belonging to the workers and their sons, a place that achieved many rights, it’s really emotional. I think the Micaela Act, like Marisa said, is a step, it must be complemented with further actions, but it’s a fundamental step to enforce rights.”

“It’s a cultural issue -he continued-, there are laws but we have to change in cultural terms, and culture changes with education. It won’t happen in a year or two or twenty. Perhaps I won’t witness it but perhaps my children will; I have three sons left and I hope that my granddaughters enjoy what we are doing.”

During his talk, García explained that “this talk has to do with dreams, because Micaela was essentially a dreamer. She dreamt and what she dreamt came true but not by chance, but because she put effort into it. In her militancy, she always emphasized the importance of dreaming. There is a phrase, which is our motto in the Foundation, which reads: “we are not going to change the world if we give a dream to a poor child, but we will change his vision of the world”. And she said that was changing the world. Because she proposed big things from small ones.”

On April 9, the Executive Committee of the Consejo Interuniversitario Nacional (CIN) unanimously approved adherence to the Micaela Act, which means that gender training will be mandatory for all faculty members, non-faculty members and authorities. The Act is framed within the Council’s Interuniversity Network for Gender Equality (RUGE, in Spanish).

“We took a very serious commitment and we must take advantage of the circumstances “I don’t know whether Rectors would have raised their hands if I had not ask them to. Because dealing with these issues is difficult. Otherwise, we would not find that more than 50 percent of the Universities that make up the CIN do not yet have a protocol of action against gender violence,” he stated.

García pointed out: “I feel a strong support from my University,” and he finished the talk recalling that “Micaela wrote an article in a political militancy journal dedicated to Rodolfo Walsh, and finished her article with a phrase that anticipated everything: ‘truth is militated, truth is life, fights culminate when revolution triumphs or when we give our life in the attempt that others continue with the revolution.’ That’s a little bit of what we are doing; the legacy Micaela left us and the conviction with which she lived and the conviction of how she died (…) Because according to the autopsy report, until the last moment Micaela chose to be killed rather than seeing her rights violated. And for us, that is a clear conviction line that we must transit, and we are proud of and willing to do so.”