Step by Step: Honduran Feminists March for People's Sovereignty

caminata-Honduras-jassWhen life can only be half-lived, it’s hard to keep hope.

When soldiers, churches, governments, death, crime and fear all conspire to choke off life like the heavy blow of the midday sun or a forest fire that consumes green trees, words become tangled and cannot be set down in black and white on these pages.

How does one explain in a few lines what it means to live under a dictatorship? How can we not simply break down in tears? How can we ignore every woman who dies and the family she leaves behind? How can we not feel the frozen fear that accompanies women who stand up to defend human rights? How can we not rebel against death that cruelly and constantly invades our lives? How can we not die a little with every tree, woman, river, man, community, teenager or transsexual that is violated, murdered, left for dead or raped? How can we not feel overwhelming anger at the messages that blame the victims, justify the impunity, rape the motherland with a smile on the lips, use the word of God to impose their ideas while robbing us of our right to a secular society and the sovereignty of our bodies and our territories? How can we not feel like crawling in to a shell or hibernating until it's all over? How can we not seek to escape this reality, which can only be endured by adopting a perverse schizophrenia that helps maintain the insanity? How to explain that we continue struggling for liberty even when it seems that nothing will change? … STEP BY STEP. YES, STEP BY STEP.

This reality is too overwhelming to remain seated, to resist with just one body - this reality can only be confronted collectively. So the Honduran people have begun a journey for national sovereignty. They launched the walk, called Step by Step, on the Pan-American Highway, by La Barca, where women and men from diverse movements across the country set off, walking and demanding national sovereignty. Step by Step will travel by foot 200 km. to the steps of the National Congress, but just as rivers flow together to gather force before reaching the sea, walks from other communities will join in and come together in Siguatepeque, Comayagua.

The word “Siguatepeque” comes from the Nahuatl word “Cihuatepetl” – “Land of Women” and it is here that feminists from the north, the south, center, east and west will meet to become part of the Step by Step walk and march to Tegucigalpa, demanding Sovereignty for our Peoples, Women with Autonomy.

Some will walk from their communities and villages, giving us their gifts of deep, beautiful stories steeped in experience; others joined up in caravans to participate from day one, sharing color and joy through their images. Some will travel north to furnish equipment and material support to the march, while others will remain to accompany the walk with the other women, shoulder to shoulder with the people.

Others wait in the city, looking forward to March 8, International Women's Day, like every year and yet like no year before this one.

It doesn’t matter where we come from, where we wait, or how far we walk, the truth is that we are together; giving away and giving ourselves our joy, our political commitment, our fury, our struggles, our knowledge and our strength.

Once again, we feminists will walk together with the people, repeating tirelessly: There is no revolution without a feminist revolution

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