“You shouldn’t play with cars because you are a girl.”

“You shouldn’t play with cars because you are a girl. You must play with your dolls. They are preparing us to be mothers rather than to find jobs!”

With thanks to support from UN Women’s Second Chance Education Program, participants in Mexico – Rita, Edith, Iris, Lupita and Anita – have broken these gender stereotypes, picked up their interrupted education and have aspired to something more.

“My sister Lupita used to tell me – finish high school because I couldn’t do it,” explained Rita.

“And I told her, no way! I’m too old to go to high school.”

After joining the Program, Rita has now finished high school and is rediscovering her identity and putting herself first to be a role model for her family.

“Here I am, recovering my identity and who I am. This is me, growing. I say, I am myself. I come first,” shared Rita.

“And if I am doing well, then my children and my grandchildren will also do well. I want to be a role model to them.”

The Second Chance Education Program, in partnership with the BHP Foundation, is providing marginalized women access to quality learning, entrepreneurship and employment outcomes.

“The course takes you by the hand and you begin to see that there are possibilities for you as a woman to achieve equality, to have rights and autonomy as a person, as a woman,” shared Edith.

“You have to learn. You have to be able to go beyond your own ambitions.”

Watch the video above to hear more from the women who have come together as a team to build a vegetable sales business.