JASS Blog Archives for August 2009

by Carrie Wilson on August 18, 2009 on 8:10 pm

It has been an intense couple of days since we arrived in Honduras on Sunday. When I catch the words “I’m tired” coming out of my mouth I stop myself because standing next to my feminist sisters from Honduras, I have nothing to complain about. These women have been marching every day, EVERY day, rain or shine, military or no military, sometimes with bruises from the march the day before. We joined the march today and there was so much energy, you would never know that they had been doing this for 52 days. One of the woman screamed “Estan cansadas!? (translation: are you tired!?) to which everyone responded with a resounding “NO”. Incredible…but not surprising given what has been happening in this country since their democratically elected president was forcibly removed from his post in a coup d’etat on June 28th.

Under the military coup, women’s rights have suffered a huge blow. Yesterday, during a forum organized by Honduran Feminists in Resistance at the nurses college (whose administrators, when hold events there because of the anti coup content), participants shared stories of physical and verbal intimidation and harassment by the military. Policemen have used their batons to strike women’s private parts (in some cases sticking them into their vaginas) and are using their words to make derogatory and sexual comments to women participating in marches. 

These accounts are appalling and clearly intended by the military to deter people from continuing to march or speak out against the coup but instead they are having the opposite effect – they are strengthening the solidarity and resilience of those in resistance. As the slogan goes, “Nos tienen miedo porque no tenemos miedo” (“They fear us because we are not afraid”). There is so much more to share but it will have to wait for tomorrow because the Feminists in Resistance are about to meet to plan and strategize for tomorrow’s march. Onward! they discovered the reason for the meeting, informed us that we can no longer 

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by JASS on August 18, 2009 on 3:50 pm

Press Release

TEGUCIGALPA – JASS (Just Associates) announced that an international delegation arrived in Honduras Monday for a week-long women’s rights watch. The delegation is conducting a local and virtual Observatorio (Feminist Transformation Watch) from August 17 to 21 to shed light on women's rights violations occurring under the de facto regime that overthrew the democratically elected president in a coup d'etat on June 28th.

The delegation comprises representatives of JASS, Honduran Feminists in Resistance, Las Petateras, Radio Feminista, Nobel Women’s Initiative, and the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equality, and includes human rights activists, researchers, legal experts and journalists from Central America, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The purpose of the mission is to gather information, to denounce the coup, and to increase awareness of the impact of the crisis from the perspective of women.

Honduran women continue at the frontlines of pro-democracy actions and resistance against the de facto regime that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Women’s organizations are under surveillance and members’ lives continue to be threatened as they practise non-violent resistance to the repression and demand a return to the rule of law, an end to violence, and respect for human rights.

A central imperative for democracy is that the perspectives and voices of Honduran women must be included in the resolution to the current crisis in that country. Systematic violations of women’s rights can be traced back to the 1980s dictatorships, with the cycle of violence and oppression continuing today within a culture of impunity. In the current crisis of ruptured democracy, these systematic violations and abuses have increased. Without a commitment to breaking the impunity, there can be no sustainable democratic resolution in Honduras.

To document the human rights violations against Honduran women that have occurred since the coup on June 28th, the delegation is conducting interviews and collecting testimonials from Honduran women and organizations, and engaging in dialogue with feminists and other Honduran women about their strategies of resistance and their actions in response to the coup. This information will be disseminated through national, regional, and international media.

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by JASS on August 7, 2009 on 9:40 am

by Mia Nikasimo (c)

Feminism is an activism
In the service of equal
Rights for all women with
-out exception; all of us.
Congratulate yourself
When you hear echoes of
The gunshots pow, pow followed by a ring, ring,
Hits concrete or metal,
Setting my nerves on end.
Don’t call yourself a
Feminist.
You de-feminist yourself
Everytime you turn the
Vocal screw sreaming
With hatred because I
Became a woman,
A woman in a body of one’s own out of the 20s
Or the lonely wells of the
50s.
When Jen said she
Always thought of me as
Such you sizzled & hissed.
I saw how much burden
You carried, always trying
In complicity & truth at
The same time, yours.
In such a forced, false way
You held me as a friend.
Feminism isn’t intolerant
People are, people like
You who must protect
Other from as if I were a
Insipid Infestation or so?
All that is yours, all yours
Even when you echo the
Thoughts phobic in
others as favour.
Every opportunity your
Pounce oblivious again &
Again only you can’t
Recollect when tasked with what worse you did.
All I want is a body; mine
Governed here by me.
Don’t congratulate me then conflagrate and say
‘Always a friend then put
Me up for the hit.

Mia Nikasimo, a Nigerian poet and translesbian, is a guest writer for Black Looks, a blog authored and moderated by Sokari Ekine.

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