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“We have to help those women who are still in that place where you don’t have any rights because you’re a woman,” says Eufrosina Cruz, left, whose bid to run for mayor of Santa Maria Quiegolani, a mountain community of about 1,200 people in Mexico, was thwarted last November by the village’s male leaders. Cruz is now fighting to grant thousands of women in Oaxaca state the right to vote and run for office in about 100 rural towns. With her in Santa Maria Quiegolani is Celia Miguel Lopez. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
A woman watches over tortillas cooking in her home in Santa Maria Quiegolani, Mexico. Being a woman isn’t easy in this poor rural village where Zapotec is the native language and most girls are lucky to complete grade school. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
A woman listens during an interview conducted in Santa Maria Quiegolani, Mexico. “The women who live in the mountains are shouting that someone listen to them,” says Eufrosina Cruz, who is fighting for women’s voting rights in the village. “I don’t want any women to ever feel alone as I did.” (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
Deputy Mayor Veleriano Lopez, left, speaks about election results at Santa Maria Quiegolani’s municipal building, where women are not allowed to attend assembly meetings. When Eufrosina Cruz tried to run for mayor here, a village elder told her, “You are a woman. In our bylaws, women don’t exist.” (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
Eufrosina Cruz, center, walks down a street in Santa Maria Quiegolani, Mexico, where she plans to try to run for mayor again in three years, when the current mayor’s term expires. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)