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Women in Guatemala steer change, seek solutions to end sexual harassment in public spaces

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guatemala is now part of the European Union and the United Nations led “Spotlight Initiative” to eliminate violence against women and girls and harmful practices in more than 13 countries worldwide. In 2019, through the Spotlight initiative, UN Women will continue supporting actions as part the Guatemala City Safe City Programme and launch initiatives to safeguard women against sexual harassment in two new municipalities: Cobán and Chinaultla. More

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. More

From where I stand: “Women don’t have to follow orders from men…women have rights too”

Monday, October 15, 2018

At thirty, Olga Macz is a teacher and entrepreneur, and a force to be reckoned with. She leads a women’s group in Campur, a small municipality in the mostly rural Alta Vara Paz department of Guatemala, which makes and sells organic shampoo. For many of the women, this is the first time that they are making their own money and making decisions. More

In the words of: “People voted for me because they wanted to see change”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Irlanda Pop is the Mayor of Lanquín, a municipality in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. She is the only indigenous Mayor and one of ten women Mayors in the country. Elected in 2015 for a term of four years, Pop has survived serious political attacks and continues to fight discrimination on account of her gender and indigenous identity. UN Women supported Pop to participate in the IV Ibero-American Summit of Local Gender Agendas that took place in Cuenca, Ecuador, in May 2018. There, she led an exchange between women leaders of different indigenous communities of the region about political participation of indigenous women and how to address violence against women in politics. UN Women supports the leadership of women in politics and peacebuilding in Guatemala through several initiatives, including through Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership flagship programme. More

Saving for a rainy day

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Indigenous women of Guatemala’s Polochic valley are feeding their families, growing their businesses and saving more money than ever before, with the help of a joint UN programme that’s empowering rural women. More

Women play a key role in rescue, reconstruction and resilience after volcanic eruption in Guatemala

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thousands of Guatemalans recently lost their homes in the eruption of Volcán de Fuego, and many victims have sought refuge at temporary shelters. María Ohong, resident of El Porvenir, and a victim of the disaster herself, is working to help others who have lost their loved ones, homes and livelihoods. UN Women has supported a government-run shelter at the Escuela Mendez Montenegro in Alotenango, where women like Ohong have organized themselves to ensure equitable distribution of relief items and protection for women and girls. More

From where I stand: “I can build a solar lamp in twenty minutes”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Martha Benavente, from Tucurú, a small municipality in Guatemala trained for six months to become a solar engineer, and she is bursting with energy. She can’t wait to start building solar lamps so that her community can have sustainable energy at last. One solar lamp could sell for up to 200 Quetzals, a lucrative business opportunity for a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. More

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... More

In the words of Sandra Moran: “Being the first openly lesbian Congresswoman in Guatemala has been a big responsibility”

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sandra Moran is Guatemala’s first openly lesbian member of the Congress. She organized the country’s first lesbian group in 1995, and was elected in 2015. She is well-known for her vocal support for women’s rights, indigenous women’s rights and LGBT rights in Guatemala. More

Sweden strengthens partnership to accelerate economic empowerment for rural women

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Swedish Government, through its development agency Sida, announced today a US$5 million commitment towards the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE). More

Expanding women’s leadership requires changing masculinities

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On 25 October, women leaders and experts gathered at the UN Headquarters to discuss issues of masculinities, violence against women, and women’s participation in peace and justice in transitional societies. With 2 billion people across 35 countries and territories affected by fragility, conflict and violence, women’s active participation and leadership in preventing conflict and sustaining peace is critical. More

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. More

From where I stand: “When I’m stung, I am reminded of how strong I already am”

Friday, February 24, 2017

Oralia Ruano Lima was among the first women in her indigenous community to join an all-female entrepreneurship project as a beekeeper. Today the women beekeepers of Urlanta, a village in the south-eastern region of Guatemala, are bringing in sustainable jobs and income to their rural communities, and changing mindsets and attitudes towards women. More

Landmark ruling in Guatemala a victory against sexual violence in armed conflict

Thursday, March 3, 2016

On 26 February, a Guatemalan court convicted two former military officers of crimes against humanity against 11 indigenous Q’eqchi’ women who were subjected to sexual violence, sexual and domestic slavery, the forced disappearance of their husbands, as well as the murder and cruel treatment of a woman and her two small daughters. The historic verdict is being hailed by human rights experts as a major victory in accountability for conflict-related sexual violence. More

Voices of indigenous women and girls in the post-2015 agenda

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A high-level panel discussion today, against the backdrop of the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (22-23 September), reaffirmed the need to include indigenous women in the post-2015 agenda and renew commitment to achieving the Beijing Declaration and Lima Plan of Action. More

Socially-excluded widows mobilize for their rights

Friday, June 21, 2013

Along with partners, UN Women is working on initiatives to support widows in Guatemala, India and Malawi. To mark International Widows Day, a look at the work that is currently underway. More

International Widows’ Day: Message from Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On this International Widows' Day, UN Women calls for action to end discrimination against widows so they can live in dignity and enjoy equal rights, opportunities and full participation in society. A statement by Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women. More

Breaking the silence on violence against indigenous girls: UN report calls for urgent action

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A new study launched today during the XII Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, reveals that indigenous girls have a greater risk of experiencing violence due to the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination they face. More

UN Women calls for urgent and effective action against femicide

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In a statement, Acting Head of UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General Lakshmi Puri welcomes mounting global momentum to end gender-related killings and urges States to take bold and swift action to implement international agreements. More

Latin American and Caribbean women chart their priorities for the new global development agenda

Thursday, April 25, 2013

To give women more voice in the United Nations post-2015 development agenda, UN Women is organizing various consultations globally. Recently they took place in the Americas and the Caribbean, bringing forth the priorities of the region. More

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