In March 2023, women from all over Latin America demonstrated against the colonial and patriarchal governments that still wield domination over women’s bodies and obstruct their rights in all respects.
Guatemala-based NGOs La Cuerda (the rope), Ixoqib MIRIAM, and Nim Alaxik rallied to demand the inclusion of women in all decision-making circles. They also spoke out against the high rate of violence against mixed-race and indigenous women and the increase of this gender-based violence in the run-up to the elections, largely due to the campaign strategies of right-wing and ultraconservative parties.
In Ecuador, various organizations led protests in their respective provinces, calling on the government to reinforce its efforts to combat violence and to set up and finance a national healthcare system for women. These organizations included:
- Las Hijas de Pandora (Pandora’s daughters),
- Coalición Feminista Universitaria (the Collegial Feminist Coalition),
- Colectiva Sordas Feministas (the Collective of Deaf Feminists),
- Federación de Mujeres de Sucumbíos (the Women’s Federation of Sucumbíos),
- Plataforma de Mujeres Caminando hacia la Igualdad (the “Stepping Toward Equality” Women’s Platform)
Amid the wave of insecurity in Ecuador, these groups advocated for the right to a violence-free life, using the motto Ni una menos, “not one less.” The Coalición Feminista Universitaria also presented a bill to address the violence rampant in the academic community.
In Colombia, the Red de Organizaciones de Mujeres Lesbianas, Bisexuales y Cuir (Network of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women’s Organizations) held their first in-person meeting to discuss guidelines on how to include new organizations in the network, which will open the way to reach more lesbian, bisexual, and queer women across Abya Yala*.
At the regional level
At the regional level, the Red de Salud de las Mujeres (RSMLAC – the Women’s Health Network) took part in the 65th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), held in New York from March 15 to 26 2021. Alongside the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) and representatives from Panama, Peru, Mexico, Canada, the United States, Colombia, and Spain, they talked about the ongoing digital violence against women in politics. On March 8, millions of women came out in full force in the Latin American region. Their united voices were heard in all spaces of Abya Yala*, calling for equal rights and opportunities for all!
*Abya Yala means “Continent of Life” in the language of the Kuna peoples of Panama and Colombia. This term is used to describe Latin America from the indigenous perspective.