Earlier today, I blogged about celebrating International Women's Day in Guatemala City, where I arrived yesterday. I met with the Director of one of our sister organizations here, the Women Workers' Committee, Sandra Gonzales. She shared with me a powerful statement honoring International Women's Day and demanding action against violence against women in Guatemala. She writes:
This March 8, we declare ourselves once again voices of change, promoting the adoption of measures to protect women, children and girls from the violence that prevails in our country. Under the banner of International Women's Day on this March 8, it's time to make way for the elimination of discriminatory cultural attitudes and economic inequalities that reinforce the subordination of women in society.
As Sandra and I spoke, I also received an International Women's Day message from our sister organization in Mexico, K'inal Antzetik. Their message echoed the demands of the Women Workers' Committee in Guatemala; similar challenges, like outright impunity for violence against women, plague both communities. This link between threats faced by women around the globe is well articulated in K'inal Antzetik's statement:
We send a hug of solidarity to our sisters in Sahara, Palestine and Colombia, to all those anonymous women in the world who are resisting on a daily basis and develop strategies for survival, to our Indigenous sisters, feminists and lesbians of Latin America and the world who will be holding events and forums, who will take the streets and will break the silence to denounce the violation of our rights as women, marching for a life free of violence, for sexual diversity, for sexual and reproductive rights, against military occupation, against patriarchy, for the rights of Indigenous women and against all forms of violence against women…
Our commitment as women will be to continue forward in our resistance, fueled by creativity, art, our motto, our march, participation in forums…and in an active and ongoing permanent commitment for a dignified life for all women worldwide.