Historically, violence against women has a fundamental way of upholding inequality. Violence reinforces discrimination, restricts or denies freedom, perpetuates exploitation at work and of women’s bodies and serves to exclude women from decision-making.
For these reasons, feminist movements have made the struggle to end violence a main priority. As a result, they are frequently attacked and harassed by powerful groups that benefit from the oppression of women.
This year, JASS Mesoamerica joins the 16 days of activism against gender violence campaign launched by the United Nations as a result of the demands of thousands of women and their organizations around the world. Our emphasis this year is on the violence suffered by women human rights defenders in Mexico and Central America (Mesoamerica) due to policies of militarization and authoritarian practices that limit women’s rights and liberties, and also those of peoples in the region.
During these 16 days, which began on November 25th with large demonstrations in various countries across the region and around the world in commemoration of the International Day to End Violence Against Women, JASS Mesoamerica invites you to take part in and share the following actions:
- Send a message. We denounce the lack of justice in the cases of at least 25 women human rights defenders murdered in the region over the past few years. From November 27-30th, JASS will virtually share posters that celebrate the faces, struggles and life of these courageous women activists. Find these on JASS’ Facebook pages – JASS and JASS Mesoamerica!
- Learn more. On Wednesday, November 28th, JASS will put out a brief report highlighting the links between violence against human rights defenders and security policies imposed by the United States and Mesoamerican governments. Check out our Facebook page to let us know what you think and to share this important analysis.
- Listen and share. We will launch the first radio segment of the JASS Mesoamerica series Tercas con la Esperanza (in Spanish). This program, available December 3rd and accompanied by a new JASS video, looks at militarization in the region and interviews women human rights defenders from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. This audio will only be available in Spanish.
To build women’s collective power we must eliminate violence and protect and strengthen women human rights defenders and their organizations that work against growing violence every day. We join the thousands of organizations across the world who are taking a stand to say NO to violence against women during these 16 days of activism.
Thanks for joining JASS during this important period of reflection and action on an issue that affects women around the world and that requires concerted action across borders to guarantee the safety and rights of women everywhere.
Stay tuned for more!
POSTER #1: At least 25 women human rights defenders were murdered in Mexico and Central America over the past few years. Join JASS to support the courageous women defenders who are fighting to defend our rights!
INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION FROM THE MESOAMERICAN INITIATIVE OF WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS: (only available in Spanish):
“Let’s protect women defenders, recognize their struggles, and support their protection and self-care strategies”
By: Laura Carlsen, director of America’s Program and member of JASS Mesoamerica.