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Women from Colombia and Guatemala share their experiences in the search for justice and peace building

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Approximately 50 Colombian and Guatemalan women met virtually to exchange their experiences on the importance of peace building from the centrality of women's human rights.

From where I stand: “Forgiveness is still very far from our reality”

Monday, October 19, 2020

Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a Guatemalan human rights activist, has never given up looking for truth and justice, since her father and husband were disappeared during the Guatemalan civil war. After her father and husband were kidnapped and murdered by government forces during the Guatemalan civil war, she founded the National Association of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA). It is now a leading national human rights organisation. In 1995, she was elected as a Congressional deputy, and in 2004 she chaired the National Reparations Commission to investigate crimes committed during the civil war, which raged for over three decades.

UN Women Statement for International Day of Peace, 21 September 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020

UN Women stands with all the women, including young women, around the world upholding peace: from the mothers holding vigil for the disappeared, to the women marching against police brutality; from the women in refugee camps navigating a complex gender landscape, to those negotiating ceasefires all over the world.

UN Women reiterates its commitment to guarantee women access to justice during the AIAMP meeting

Friday, September 18, 2020

Cecilia Alemany, Deputy Director of the Regional Office of UN Women for the Americas, highlighted the difficulties that women face during the pandemic in accessing justice and reaffirmed the commitment of UN Women to strengthen regional capacities in this area, during a meeting of the Specialized Network on Gender (REG) of the Ibero-American Association of Public Ministries (AIAMP), on September 17th.

UN Women held a Webinar on how to incorporate Gender Keys into Venezuela's Regional Plan of Response to Refugees and Migrants 2021

Friday, August 21, 2020

On 13 August, UN Women held a webinar on the key gender issues to be taken into account during the planning of the  Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan   (RMRP) 2021 of the  Regional Interagency Coordination Platform  for the response to the mixed flows of people from Venezuela (R4V). 

ProDefensoras Colombia: "Let's protect those who protect us."

Friday, June 26, 2020

"For life, development, and peace, I'm an advocate." This is one of the many messages that they share with us and which will be insisted on by the leaders and human rights defenders who were selected to be part of the ProDefensoras Colombia Programme, which has been made possible thanks to the alliance between UN Women, the Norwegian Embassy and the Ombudsman's Office.

Ten years on from mandate on sexual violence in conflict, survivors and experts call for promises to be fulfilled

Friday, November 1, 2019

On the margins of the annual UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in New York, at a side event on 30 October, survivors, leaders and experts came together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Statement: Placing victims at the centre of investigations spurs justice for survivors of sexual violence in conflict

Thursday, June 13, 2019

In a joint message for the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict (19 June), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Nina Suomalainen, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response, stress the importance of preventing sexual violence by addressing its root causes, including gender inequality.

Statement by UN Women Executive Director for the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

In her statement for International Day of UN Peacekeepers, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlights the important role women peacekeepers play in tackling critical issues, such as helping to make the peacekeeping force approachable to women in the community, interacting with women in societies where they are prohibited from speaking to men, and addressing the specific needs of female ex-combatants as they reintegrate into civilian life.

From where I stand: “Just the act of wearing our traditional clothes is an expression of resistance”

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sonia Maribel Sontay Herrera is an indigenous woman and human rights defender from Guatemala. Her vision is for Guatemala to respect the rights of indigenous women and hear their voices.

Take five: “A successful peace process simply demands the active and meaningful participation of women at all levels”

Monday, October 29, 2018

UN Women spoke with Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, about gender parity within the Mission and its priorities over the next year. The Verification Mission in Colombia has made impressive strides towards gender parity; 58 per cent of its professional level field staff are women and 65 per cent of field office teams are led by women. The Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was signed in 2016, ending more than 50 years of conflict. Contrary to most peace negotiations in history, women had a significant influence in the peace process in Colombia. The resulting peace agreement addresses core issues that impact women, such as women’s representation in decision-making bodies, access to land restitution or justice and reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

Sepur Zarco case: The Guatemalan women who rose for justice in a war-torn nation

Friday, October 19, 2018

During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community. The abuelas of Sepur Zarco, as the women are respectfully referred to, are now waiting to experience justice. Justice, for them, includes education for the children of their community, access to land, a health care clinic and such measures that will end the abject poverty their community has endured across generations. Justice must be lived.

From where I stand: “When we sing, we feel free”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mila Rodriguez is one of the young members of Colombia’s Cantadora Network, a network of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace. Supported by a UN Women programme, the Cantadoras have engaged young people in the port city of Tumaco, where decades of armed conflict have torn apart communities, and peace is still a long journey.

From where I stand: “It’s not just men who can do business”

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Deyanira Cordoba belongs to a family of coffee growers of Tablon de Gomez, in the of Nariño region of Colombia. As part of a UN Women project, she has learned about her economic rights, bodily autonomy and more. The future holds many possibilities for this talented artist and coffee grower, but whichever path she chooses, she feels she belongs with her community, in the mountains of Colombia, watching the coffee grow.

Take five: “A feminist in decision-making roles makes a difference”

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thelma Aldana is the Public Prosecutor and Head of the Public Ministry of Guatemala, who will complete her term in May 2018. She is known as a champion of women’s rights, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and the force behind the creation of specialized courts for femicide and violence against women cases in 2010. Today, there are 12 of these specialized courts in Guatemala. UN Women has supported the Public Ministry in adopting and implementing the Women and Men´s Equality...

From where I stand: Afro-descendent women of Colombia rise for justice

Monday, January 8, 2018

Charo Mina-Rojas has worked for many years to educate grassroots Afro-descendant communities of Colombia on Law 70 of 1993, which recognizes their cultural, territorial and political rights. Following the historic peace agreement which ended the more than 50-year conflict between the Government of Colombia and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Mina-Rojas advocates for justice and equality for Colombia’s afro-descendent women.

Speech: Women, peace and security, an essential pillar in global affairs

Friday, October 27, 2017

Statement by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

Sepur Zarco: In pursuit of truth, justice, and now reparations

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sepur Zarco was the first case of conflict-related sexual violence challenged under Guatemala’s penal code. It was also the first time that a national court anywhere in the world had ruled on charges of sexual slavery during an armed conflict—a crime under international law. In its path-breaking judgment, the Guatemalan court noted that sexual violence against indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’ women was part of a deliberate strategy by the Guatemalan Army.

Colombian women growing coffee, brewing peace

Friday, October 13, 2017

Colombia’s half-a-century-long armed conflict has deeply wounded the country’s rural areas. Today, rural and indigenous women suffer the highest levels of poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. According to national statistics, 41.9 per cent of rural women-led households live in poverty and 9.6 per cent in extreme poverty. An initiative by UN Women has supported rural and indigenous women to develop leadership and business skills to boost their economic and political empowerment as the country strives for peace.

In the words of Magda Alberto: “The idea of a more just, democratic society…comes hand in hand with equality for women”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Magda Alberto is a young feminist and member of UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group in Colombia. She advocates for the recognition of women in the Colombian peace-process and was part of the Women and Peace Summit in 2013 and 2016, supported by the UN system and led by UN Women, which led to the formal recognition by the parties of women’s role in the Colombian peace process.

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