When Honduras’ first female president Xiomara Castro rose to power under a feminist agenda, women all over the country were filled with hope. But a hundred days into her government, with not a single change introduced that benefits women, pressure is mounting for Castro to fulfil her promises.
Vienna Herrera, an investigative multimedia journalist with Honduran digital media outlet Contracorriente focuses on gender issues, sexual and reproductive rights, extractivism, the environment, and power structures.
Vienna has reported on women’s rights issues for many years. She was part of the team who worked on the Gabo Award-winning special feature ‘Tierra de resistentes’, which documented organized threats against environmental activists. She also participated in transnational features like ‘Estación del Silencio’ with El Salvador’s El Faro, about Mesoamerican violence against women, and ‘Interrupción del embarazo, la deuda de Centroamérica con las mujeres’, led by Agencia Ocote of Guatemala in collaboration with six Central American media outlets. Her other work includes ‘Las muertes evitables’, a feature on maternal mortality during the pandemic in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
For Voz IIII, she turns to her home country Honduras to look at the shortcomings of Xiomara Castro’s first 100 days in office and the lack of action on women’s rights issues – a fight close to her heart.
When Xiomara Castro was announced the winner of the Honduran presidential elections in November 2021, I had spent the past four years writing about violence against Honduran women and our reproductive rights. I covered stories that really broke me, where the patterns of impunity were clear and I had to cope with accompanying families of femicide victims and listening to women who have survived femicide attempts and sexual assaults. I allowed myself a moment’s respite.
Xiomara Castro is the first female president, and she’s come to power promising a feminist agenda, a government plan that includes the decriminalization of abortion on three grounds, and allows the legal distribution of contraceptives and the morning after pill, prohibited in Honduras since 2009.
‘Women, I will not let you down’, she repeated in every campaign speech. And it was with this same phrase that she closed her inauguration ceremony on 27 January. The joy of many women from the feminist movement present that day was evident, as green handkerchiefs appeared among the Honduran national flags and the red flags of Castro’s Libertad y Refundación (Liberty and Refoundation) party.