Hermila (Mily) Treviño-Sauceda - USA

Creating Awareness about Farmworkers’ Rights

Mily Treviño-Sauceda (57) is the leader of the women farmworkers movement in the US, which started in California, and she works hard to help female farmers overcome oppression, achieve just treatment, and realize their potential.

She faced difficulties that come along with belonging to the community of farmworkers, as they have the lowest incomes in the richest country and their labor organizing rights are not protected. Her personal situation also posed several problems for Mily as her family kept on moving back and forth between US and Mexico, her education was further disturbed because her parents prioritized her brother’s education over hers which meant that she would often be working in the fields. She started advocating for the working conditions of farmworkers early on in her life, which led to her losing her jobs. Despite all odds, she has actively voiced concerns, has been involved in the fight against violence against women, and has helped train members of the police department and other public officials to understand and deal with perpetrators and affected women. She has also advised public officials and made policy recommendations to improve the treatment of women. Mily has used her experience as a farmworker to advocate against the use of pesticides because of the dangers they have on people and plants. Her campaigns and speeches on the topic have been a large contributor toward preserving the environment.

To promote understanding of what it is like to be a female farmer, Mily worked with farmworker women to present skits that demonstrated their hard work, sexual harassment in the fields, pesticide dangers, and domestic violence at home. She believed that the dramatization would help people better visualize these serious issues and communicate their reality. Mily is an inspiration to women through her advocacy campaigns and her creative approaches to help women farmworkers comprehend and confront their challenges. Mily is also instrumental in helping farmworkers learn their rights, obtain fair wages, and work in safe environments. She has received local and national awards for her leadership work.