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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.

From where I stand: “Together, we are building peace and equal rights in our territories”

Monday, August 17, 2020

Johana, a trans woman, is the founder of the Johana Maturana Foundation, an organization that promotes LGBTI people’s rights in the Chocó Department of Colombia. She stresses the need for financial resources to reach local communities and that communities must shape humanitarian action.

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.

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.

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.

Press Release: Amidst rising extremism, women’s role in peace and recovery remains hampered and underutilized

Monday, October 12, 2015

The United Nations Security Council willconduct an all-day Open Debate in commemoration of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. The historic review comes at a moment when the world is grappling with rising violent extremism that places the subordination of women at the centre of the ideology and war tactics, and violence and conflict are costing the planet over USD 14 trillion. In direct contrast, striking new research shows that peace endures when women can participate meaningfully in peace talks, and States are more resilient in the face of conflict and extremism when gender equality is prioritized.

Women take the reins to build peace in Colombia

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The voices of women as experts, survivors and negotiators have been included in a peace process with an unprecedented gender perspective, with the support of UN Women and other partners. It aims to end one of the longest-running internal armed conflicts in the world.

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