Partner Groups Mobilise to Demand Life Without Violence
The entire world commemorates the 25th of November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This date reminds us all of the urgent need to continue making this violence visible through public education and demands to the State to ensure safety in our communities and laws that genuinely protect us.
Our partners in Central America were very active on the 25th, and took to the streets to take action in commemoration of the date.
In Nicaragua, Entangled (Enredadas): Technology for Equality rolled up their sleeves and joined in the 16 days of activism organised around November 25th. Through their digital spaces they invited women and young people to join their initiative in denouncing the violence and machismo that we’re all too often subjected to while we navigate the Internet or use our mobile phones. The campaign was called Connected Violence (Violencias conectadas)
Has anyone ever shared images, videos or audios of yours without your permission? Have you ever been forced to share the passwords of your social networks or your phone? Has anyone stalked you via SMS and you didn’t know what to do? Has your ex-partner hacked your Facebook account? With these questions the Entanglers opened up space for women to participate and tell their stories about IT related gender violence.
They gathered 16 testimonies from a diverse range of women who narrated stories about harassment, invasion of privacy and being sent porn images, among other things.
Would you like to see these testimonies? Go to the Enredadas Facebook page: https://goo.gl/IHU3Cz or to their blog: enredadasnicaragua.blogspot.com.
Four hours of activism and resistance were organised by the group Artemisa in a public event on the 24th of November in the Central Park of San Pedro Sula.
105 organised women, plus the people who passed through the park took part in the activity. The rain didn’t stop the music, theatre, slogans and the reading of a declaration from generating energy for peaceful resistance in the public square.
The declaration contained criticism of the firing of women workers from the GILDAN Activewear factory, and also spoke about how the work done by the women has caused them health problems. This grievance has been going on for years, as you can read in the following document put together by the Honduran Women’s Collective (CODEMUH): http://bit.ly/2gzVRA4.
The activity was covered by 17 national media outlets and one international one (Azteca TV). The event ended with a protest vigil outside the Ministry of Labour.
If you want to know more about Artemisa, you can visit their Facebook page: https://goo.gl/Rvpj8u
Also in Honduras the members of the Centre for Women’s Rights (CDM) participated in the “Feminist March of the North-Western region: My Territory is not Property!“ organised by the Women’s Forum for Life (Foro de Mujeres por la Vida), of which CDM is a member.
The march began at the Mother’s Monument a la Madre and went into the centre of the city, where it culminated in a cultural event. A very diverse group of women from different northern departments – Cortés, Santa Bárbara, Yoro y Atlántida – went to San Pedro Sula to denounce the situation of violence facing Honduran women, to claim their rights to public resources and common land, and to demand an effective response from the State to all forms of violence against women, especially the disappeared (nationally, 50% of the denunciations of disappeared women are from the department of Cortés).
The march gathered in front of the Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Público) to demand justice for Berta Cáceres and the more than 5 thousand women murdered over the last decade in Honduras.
According to the 25th of November Platform, more than 400 women participated in the demonstration which concluded in the lower area of the National Congress by demanding that the new Criminal Code, presently under discussion, include all forms of violence against women and that medically necessary abortions are decriminalised.
In Guatemala The Women’s Vine (La Enredadera de Mujeres) went into the street wearing t-shirts and with a sign saying “Stop Violence Against Women” (Alto a la violencia contra las mujeres). The group members took photos of themselves in different parts of the city and invited other people to join them in commemorating the 25th of November.
In addition, one of the group’s members participated with another women’s organisation in a performance art piece. In this way the Women’s Vine joined the march to demand freedom of decision over our bodies.
If you want to know more about the Women’s Vine (La Enredadera de Mujeres), you can visit their Facebook page:http://bit.ly/2gvE6Sq
The Salvadorean Young Women’s Feminist Collective (Colectiva Juvenil Feminista de Mujeres Salvadoreñas)organised a forum with the Candelaria Municipal Mayor’s Office. The girls ended their activity with a batucada drumming session.
In addition, on the 28th of November in the Cojutepeque municipality, Colefemi held a departmental forum about the prevention of violence against pregnant teenagers as part of the 16 days of activism. They did a presentation on the historic background of November 25th and they also ended with a batucada drumming session.