Passion Transformed Into Action: The Story of ASK for Choice in Perú
May 17th 2016. CAC’s ASK for Choice leader in Lima, Daniela Gutiérrez, tells Peru’s ASK for Choice story as if it is 2026.
Although in English words don’t seem to rhyme
When a woman expresses ideas like this,
People see it as a crime.
We were born without apple,
chained by the past,
shorn of the present.
In this world social classes are an illusion,
only from our mind confusion.
We are all unique and necessary,
Universal Rights, Humanitarian Rights.
Let’s make this life a “Choice party”
Bring our nation to the heights,
the indifference and inequality that women suffer,
makes no man tougher.
Over the years, we’ll tear down those fences.
Crush the status quo.
Nothing justifies the intolerance of our differences.
It all started with a group of brave, enthusiastic women, they were not sportspeople, some of them did love sports, however they shared something: all of them were ready to come together and join forces to help change this world of inequality, violence and lack of practice of values.
It all started on that Tuesday (May 3rd 2016), everyone full of energy and open to experiment, we started the training, and the fun started as well (that was all that mattered). With time questions emerged, deep and challenging about the issues they faced as women in their society, questions that found few or no answers. I could only encourage them to think about what they could do as women with all the capacity to change their reality. Then some clarity sprouted from their hearts in form of proposals “workshops with girls in El Agustino (and their dad’s as well), raise our kids respecting all human beings as equals, work with the rest of the moms of the community so they know they have a chance to decide…” And we left that encounter with the commitment to change our lifes.
In 2017, with twice as many women compared to the year before, 45 magical women with a great vibe! All of them sharing their powerful testimony about how playing the ASK for Choice games and all the conversations and group dynamics helped them to make some choices that would change their lifes, some of them even ventured to play the games with their families… The pieces started coming into place and things started to make sense for us…We were so excited!
8 years later, in 2024, Asked For Choice had grown so much in Perú, we no longer worked only with women from El Agustino, but with communities from all over the place, the Jungle, Los Andes and the coast. We decided to visit our awesome pioneers, what a great surprise we found: Outstanding leadership workshops for girls and women, women’s (and mixed) sports teams and leagues, art workshops and the best: women replicating the ASK for Choice experience with their community.
We continued our work, with more and more diverse women every time, similar in their desire to heal the world and make it a better place. We kept in touch with all of them and when we left they sent photos and videos of how well they were doing, the joyful experiences they were having, and in every place, no matter how far apart from each other, the same magic spread.
2026, 10 years from our origin, with this marvelous project that started with the pure intention of co-creating a fun space for women to play and share.
Not everything was easy. In many communities, when we went with the intention of giving women choices, we were faced with ignorance (both from man and woman), when we asked the questions, sometimes we found the same answers that created all this inequality, we thought that they might not understand, or that we were doing it all wrong…
However, at the end, even after all that struggle, we found a surprise that filled our hearts, in every community that benefited from the ASK for Choice movement (yes, now it had become a movement in Perú) we saw dads taking care of the household and taking kids to school, women directing massive building projects, boys dreaming to become chefs, girls playing with cars and soldiers. That was the best proof that all the effort from us, and especially from all the women in Perú had worked. Inequality and violence almost didn’t exist, it became a thing of a dark past. We felt so so happy and satisfied!
We only have one question now, for our present work: Are there any places remaining in Perú that still need this work? We have a very hard job ahead of us, finding these places would be almost impossible…