Angie's Wings

Photographs by Paolo Marchetti

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Chronicles of a Macho Society

It happens today in Colombia, in the barrios of the big cities, where there are no conditions for the preparation of a project of their life and the only references remain the family, where being a woman in a cultural very macho context, involves mainly in reference to an absent man, the father, the husband, the partner who has abandoned her.

While increasing the abandonment of the family by men (fathers, husbands, life partners) and women are increasingly being left alone in the growth and maintenance of children, young girls in Colombia continue to learn their fate traditional “wives and good mothers”. Education and socialization process emphasize the function of procreation, to the detriment of any other aspect of the life and exploitation of female sexuality, which assumes a subordinate position compared with men. Over the past ten years have grown dramatically the “solitary mother” phenomenon (presence of families headed by single mothers) and cases of early pregnancies and unwanted, a constantly growing phenomenon especially in the lower and middle layers. 17% of young women in Colombia between the ages of 15 and 19 are already mothers.

The importance of women in Colombia society is crucial, but makes it look more like a mother and nota s a bride and makes her take a threefold function, as a mother, this is her main role being always the centre pin of the family, as the bride, addressing often difficult situations and even violent in the context of a completely male-dominated society and a san inhabitant of the district, whit its involvement in social initiatives for the development of the community. In Colombia the lives of thousands of mothers is a constant struggle for survival and his loneliness is marked by men who flee from their family responsibilities. In fact, the first Colombian woman was considered her husband’s property, today is considered property of the need of the male man. In Colombia there is a broad legal framework for the protection of women’s rights, but nonetheless, the concrete situation continues to be difficult, in fact, the position of woman is a serious disadvantage in all areas of social and economic life of the county. Just think about that women who have a job are only less than half of the female population and that women’s wages are up to 30% lower than those of men (according to the Unitari Central de Trabajadores – CUT, Central Unitari Workers).

This is the story of Angela, a girl of 22 years who lives on the coast Barranquilla and its path of woman is exactly represented by the framework described above. Angela begins to work from the age of 12 years with her mother that soon, is abandoned by her partner, and today, being the older sister of 3 daughters, Angela maintains her sisters with their children and full-time care of her nephew Paula. Each of the sisters of Angela is already a mother from a young age and all of them were abandoned by their partner, a framework that continues to be perpetrated with regularity. One of the most obvious forms of marginalia, where adult women and children are pushed by Colombian context, is represented by prostitution a san alternative to the lack of a concrete role in society, but Angela is fighting and not give in to this possibility, she reacts and leads to a life exhausting and takes a multiple identity, sister, householder, a worker and a professional boxer. In this perspective, Angela develops a distrust of the man. Who in spite of everything is not usual among Colombian women and she is trying to protecting herself, leaving them away, those men, from whom she collected only abandonment.