In Mexico, rural women have vowed to defend the right to food, to biodiversity, to our natural resources, and to end the violence in all forms that arises out of capitalist and patriarchal systems. They reaffirmed these commitments on Mar. 8.
When violence is attacked with violence, women become both victims and defenders. They are disproportionately and differently affected by violence, violation of human rights and the erosion of community. Yet Mesoamerican and the U.S. governments continue to fund militarist enforcement policies framed as counternarcotics or anti-terrorism that arm and train men to patrol and control the population that put women at great risk.
Twenty years since the alarm was first sounded in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua due the large number of women murdered with signs of torture and sexual abuse, the phenomenon has spread to the rest of the country.
Nahua community midwives in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo play a fundamental role in the communities’ world view, since they guide a child’s beginnings and communal values The practices of the official health institutions are putting them at risk.
At some point, they will have to find a name for this new culture that is beginning to open up in places where individualism and machismo are under control. For now it is enough to recognize that there are some non-institutional movements with strong ties to base communities and a fairly horizontal organizational structure, that are renewing the political culture, with women in the lead.
Our International Observatory of Women’s Human Rights and Resistance formed with the premise that women’s human rights cannot be supported in a non-democratic society and democracy cannot develop in a climate of human rights violations, such as Honduras’. We found that neither democracy nor human rights fared well in the Honduras elections.
The Historical Clarification Commission revealed that among the serious and massive human rights violations committed against the civil population, rape was a systematic practice carried out by the state as part of the counterinsurgent strategy. These women are telling their stories.
They set out on February 25, from different parts of a country torn apart. In silent defiance, they entered the capital city of Tegucigalpa on March 6. On International Women’s Day they made their demands of a government that has trampled their rights and brought bloodshed across the nation since the rule of law was shattered three and half years ago.
Women’s organizations are raising a red flag on Nicaragua. In a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 12, they reported rising violence against women, corruption and abuse of power in government when dealing with the crimes, and the increasing vulnerability of girls and young women.
Undeterred by mounting death threats and intimidation, a group of mothers whose daughters have disappeared from Ciudad Juarez, traveled to Mexico City to mark International Women’s Day with demands for justice for their missing loved ones and to mourn the mounting epidemic of violence toward women in Mexico.