SIF Witnesses Historic Moment for Women’s Rights in Guatemala

Written by SIF Program Officer Michele Frix

From 2001 to 2011, there have been nearly 6,000 reported cases of femicide* in Guatemala. Meaning on average, one woman was murdered each day, every day, for the past ten years.

Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz addresses crowd present in the central plaza of Coban, Altaverapaz. For more pictures, please visit:

On August 10, 2012, I was witness to an incredibly historic moment for Guatemala, and most importantly for the 14.3 million women living in Guatemala facing the unfortunate reality of pervasive gender-based violence. As a guest of the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office (Ministerio Publico), I was honored to accompany Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez, Secretary of Criminal Policy (Secretario de Política Criminal) to the inauguration of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Women (Fiscalia de la Mujer, Modelo de Atencion Integral) and the Criminal Court for Crimes of Femicide and other Forms of Violence against Women (Tribunal de Sentencia Penal de Delitos de Femicidio y otras formas de Violencia contra las Mujeres) in Coban, Guatemala in the department of Alta Verapaz.

Dr. Rodriguez and I departed Guatemala City early that morning, and while en route to Coban, we discussed the importance of specialized government agencies for women and children in Guatemala, particularly those experiencing violence. Dr. Rodriguez expressed the importance of the Attorney General’s approach to addressing both the gap in state services and extraordinarily high rates of violence against women (VAW) by providing integral attention and services for women victims, in the areas of the country with the highest rates of violence. Read the rest of this entry »

Working to combat femicide in Honduras

This entry was written by Ada Lastenia Flores Garcia, a member of SIF’s 2012 Central American Women’s Delegation to End Gender-Based Violence. Below, Ada describes her work in Honduras around women’s rights and addressing femicide, as well as a reflection on her participation as a delegate.   

I work for an NGO called OCDIH Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras (OCDIH), also known as the Christian Organization of Integral Development of Honduras, in English.  I have been working here for eight years, and started here the same year that the gender policy was institutionalized in Honduras.  I was part of a group of employees who completed a certificate program in gender equity, and started my work with women in 2006 in the city of Santa Rita Copan, Honduras, helping organize and strengthen a network of women who identified domestic violence as a strategic priority. I began advocating for a municipal office on women which I later advised on equal opportunity laws, laws against domestic violence, international conventions, and collectively investigate procedures to accompany cases.

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Being part of a global community

Written by Agueda Ordeñana, iLEAP Faculty, 2010 Central American Women’s Leadership Program

2010 iLEAP Faculty

The opportunity to create, build and be part of a community where members share common principles and ideals is invaluable.

I am a member of the GLOBAL HOME community created by the 2010 generation of iLEAP Fellows. I am from Teustepe, a small point on the world map in the center of America, yet know that I have sisters and brothers in all continents: my unforgettable friend Era from the Philippines with whom I shared pleasant moments, Rafael in Kenya with his good humor and friendliness, the warmth and tenderness of Emmanuel GV, and my Central American sisters because of the shared language, had unforgettable moments. My sister Mabilia of Guatemala, the celebrated independence of Rocío and sweet Madeline. I had to directly mention each of their qualities I remember by them by, and during our time together it was very special to get to know the various facets of each of the participants in the program. Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle hosts delegation working to end sexual and gender-based violence

Ten female leaders from Central America visited Seattle for leadership training and public policy dialogue with local institutions around violence against women and related issues

Central American Women’s Delegation to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence visits Seattle from July 22-28, 2012.

The Seattle International Foundation partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host and provide training to a delegation of ten Central American women leaders in Seattle from July 22-28. These leaders are working to promote women’s rights and address the critical issue of sexual and gender-based violence in Central America.

The delegation met with various private and public institutions focused on domestic violence to enhance their knowledge around the latest strategies, service models, and public policies used to address violence against women.

Click here to see photos from the week’s activities in Seattle.

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About the blog:
This blog was created to support the Central America Network and encourage dialogue around relevant research, news and poverty alleviation efforts in the region.
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