Monday, February 18, 2019

Fighting machismo: women on the front line

Eva Sánchez, director of the Lenca women’s rights organization Las Hormigas (The Ants), Honduras. © Pierre Fromentín 2016
Eva Sánchez, director of the Lenca women’s rights organization Las Hormigas (The Ants), Honduras. © Pierre Fromentín 2016

Abstract

Women in Latin America have made significant advances in every social and institutional field, being at the forefront of fights for justice. Yet cultural values have not caught up. Ingrained sexism permeates almost every aspect of daily life, so that women in the region face extreme forms of oppression and inequality.

This is manifest in some of the highest rates of femicide and sexual violence in the world, as well as draconian anti-abortion laws.

Index

About the Author

Louise Morris is a journalist, audio and TV producer. She specializes in women’s rights and the intersection between art and politics. Louise works primarily in radio, producing and presenting documentaries for BBC R4 and producing for NPR.

She previously worked producing a daily TV magazine programme. She has written for The Wire, Delayed Gratification and BBC News Online, among others.

Interviewees

Alicia Cawiya (front centre, with megaphone), Patricia Nenquihui, Patricia Gualinga (rear left, holding sign), and Katy Betancourt. International Women’s Day March, Puyo, Ecuador, 8 March 2016. © Mike Reich 2016

Alicia Cawiya (vice president of the Huaorani people): interviewed in Quito and Puyo, Ecuador, on 16 and 20 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Patricia Gualinga, Ecuador. ©Cristobal Corral 2005 / Fundación Pachamama

Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku Kichwa activist): interviewed in Puyo, Ecuador, on 24 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

María Teresa Rivera, El Salvador. © Amnesty International 2018

María Teresa Rivera (Salvadorean reproductive rights activist): interviewed via Facebook Messenger on 15 January 2018 by Louise Morris. Translated by Matthew Kingston.

Eva Sánchez (Las Hormigas): interviewed in Intibucá, Honduras, on 26 October 2016 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

References

NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

BBC News (2017) ‘Honduras on “red alert” over female murders, say activists’, 6 July

Belli, G. (2016) ‘Why has “macho” Latin America elected more female leaders than the US?’, The Guardian, 7 November

Bott, S., Guedes, A., Goodwin, M. and Mendoza, J.A. (2012) Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Population-Based Data from 12 Countries, Pan American Health Organization,Washington DC

Clavel, T. (2018) ‘Why Latin America dominates global homicide rankings’, InSight Crime, 12 March

Driver, A. (2017) ‘What women’s lives are like when abortion is a crime’, CNN, 5 October

Goudreau, J. (2011) ‘The Ten Worst Stereotypes About Powerful Women’, Forbes, 24 October

Lakhani, N. (2017) ‘El Salvador teen rape victim sentenced to 30 years in prison after stillbirth’, The Guardian, 6 July

Phillips, T. (2018) ‘“Breathtaking homicidal violence”: Latin America in grip of murder crisis’, The Guardian, 26 April

Sherwell, P. (2015) ‘El Salvador’s Las 17: the women jailed for 30 years for losing their babies by miscarriage’, The Telegraph, 16 February

Tello Rozas, P. and Floru, C. (2017) ‘Women’s political participation in Latin America: some progress and many challenges’, Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 7 March

VOA (2017) ‘OAS chief: violence against Latin America’s women a “never-ending story”’, 7 November

Waiselfisz, J.J. (2015) Mapa da violência 2015: homicídio de mulheres no Brasil, FLACSO, Brasília

WHO (2012) ‘Understanding and addressing violence against women’, World Health Organization

Yagoub, M. (2017) ‘How violence against women fuels more crime’, InSight Crime, 8 March

Videos

video

Honduras: Las Hormigas in action against femicide in Intibucá.

The streets witnessed demonstrations against violence against women in Honduras. In La Esperanza, Intibucá, the feminist organization Las hormigas celebrated this day in the...
video

Honduras: Femicide Part 1 – The most dangerous country to be a woman.

To view this video click here. Juju Chang reports from Honduras, the most dangerous country on earth in which to be a woman. She documents...
video

Honduras: Femicide Part 2. Battling machismo culture. Part 2.

To view this video, click here. Part 2 of the ABC Nightline documentary on women in Honduras. In this episode we see an adolescent maternity...
video

Honduras: Hillary Clinton backed the coup

It’s well known where Hillary Clinton stood on regime change in Iraq and Libya, but what often gets forgotten is that she threw her...
video

The Femicide Crisis in the State of Mexico

A wave of homicides targeting female victims — labeled as femicides — has been sweeping the State of Mexico, the sprawling suburb that engulfs...

Further reading

General

Femicide

Honduran coup and its effect on women

Eva Sánchez/Las Hormigas

Reproductive rights in El Salvador

Voices News

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Voices of Latin America — US edition

Voices of Latin America will be published in the US by Monthly Review Press, in partnership with LAB and Practical Action Publishing, in March 2019. Individual copies can be ordered from Monthly Review Press at US$32.00 each. Review copies can be ordered here (on the same page there is a link labelled 'desk copies', for professors who have already ordered a book for a class). Ingram Book Ordering here. Here is what US academics have said about Voices: Anthony Bebbington, Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Member of the Board of Directors, Oxfam America; Professorial Fellow, Global Development Institute, University...

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Here are some of the endorsements for LAB's new book, Voices of Latin America: Dr Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser, OXFAM: This is a wonderful X-ray of modern Latin America, a vision of the continent's struggles and potential futures through the eyes of its social movement leaders and intellectuals. Read it from end to end, whether as an introduction or an update, or mine it for quotes from inspirational figures across the region on a range of contemporary issues. Latin America (or most of it) has come the end of its progressive 'pink tide' years of the early 2000s. For the...

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Work on LAB's exciting new book Voices of Latin America is progressing rapidly More than 45 of our interviews, from 11 countries, have been translated, and our wonderful team of volunteer editors are at work on the separate chapters The editor and project co-ordinator is Tom Gatehouse Publication date is now set for September 2018 Alongside the book, we will develop the Voices website. This will include more interviews, photos, videos and some of the audio recordings used in the book. But it will be progressively added to to create a constantly growing and up-to-date archive of social...

Voices of Latin America: Thank you to all our generous supporters

We estimate that the total raised from our crowd-funding will be around £12,720 A huge thank you to all our generous supporters. Your pledges on our project Crowdfunding site totalled a magnificent £7,000. We have now received a further £4,000 from our match-funder. We can claim Gift Aid on most of those donations made by UK tax-payers, worth another 25%. This will enable us to pay for some of the daunting amount of editing and translation work and, if necessary, commission further Voices interviews. It's a big boost to the project.  

Voices of Latin America: crowd-funding completed… fund-raising continues

May 18. Our Crowdfunder campaign finished last night. We raised £7,000, but the total will be considerably more because part of this was match-funded. A huge thanks to our 163 generous supporters. It was a great learning experience for the LAB Voices team, and will be excellent advance promotion for the book. More funding needed If you missed the Crowdfunder deadline, it's not too late for you to contribute. Just go to the 'Donate with CAF' button on LAB's Home Page, or click here. Keep watching this space ...for updates on the project as it proceeds. We plan to begin adding audio, video,...