Local women in the Mam communities requested a group intervention – Women’s Circles – that could help and provide support for women in their communities, following earlier involvement in a participatory research project with the lead author of this paper . We chose a participatory research approach to optimize community engagement and optimize cultural safety, acceptability and feasibility. Indigenous Ixil women living in Quiche endured 36 years of civil war and today are among the poorest people in Guatemala. Many of the women have survived rape, torture, and forced displacement from their ancestral lands. Many widows and single mothers are the sole breadwinners for their households and most families don’t earn enough to purchase basic necessities.
- Weeks later, eight-year-old Sharon Figueroa was kidnapped while she was riding her bike in her own backyard in Melchor de Mencos, on the border with Belize.
- Women in this context remained economically dependent and struggled to escape abusive situations or pay the costs associated with pursuing justice.
- Together, we founded Farming for the Future, a collective income-generating project that provides the Ixil women living in poverty with economic independence and food security and empowers them to demand their political rights.
The intervention proved feasible and well accepted by circle leaders and participating women. 1-month post-intervention, wellbeing scores (p-value 0.008) and self-care self-efficacy (0.049) scores were higher among intervention compared to control women. Those women who attended more sessions had higher wellbeing (0.007), self-care and infant-care self-efficacy (0.014 and 0.043, respectively), and early infant stimulation (0.019) scores.
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Women’s experience of this patchwork depends on their geographic and sociocultural location. Notably, women living in rural indigenous communities have the most contact with state institutions that are inadequately resourced and reformed to meet their particular needs, and they are therefore unlikely to change their view of the state as ineffective or untrustworthy.
Nanci was also the youngest participant in NIMD’s Women’s Political Rights conference, held in Tunisia in 2017. She found it enriching to learn from participants in such an international environment outside of her country. As she reflected on their different experiences, she started to understand the scale of the violence faced by women around the world, and the importance of making sure that societies do not see this kind of violence as normal. The study sponsor provided feedback on the study design, but since approving the aims and study design has not had any role in collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of data, the writing of this report, or the decision to submit this report for publication. The primary sponsor does not have ultimate authority over any of these activities, but does have ultimate authority over the funding. The PI, SFI, and data manager will have access to the final trial dataset, as outlined in the institutional review board approval.
It became an expression of victory, a way of thoroughly humiliating the conquered and punishing whole villages, debasing those who were considered the weakest according to patriarchal standards. In other cases, army officers considered rape as a means of humiliating and eliminating “the mothers of future guerrilla fighters.” Rape was also offered as a bargaining chip—a way women could stay alive.
However, like many societies and supply chains across the world, women’s economic and social inequalities are often reproduced rather than transformed by coffee cultivation. This means smallholder coffee farmers owned or operated by women are less likely than their male counterparts to have access to or control over land, financing, markets, and agricultural information and technology. That is why in 2018, Guatemalan indigenous women the UTZ program, Lidl, and CARE partnered together on a two-year initiative called ‘Project Guatemala’. These findings suggest research should be more attentive to the experiences and perspectives of non-migrating female partners, to counter the migrant-centric accounts in labour migration literature. At the policy level, the Guatemalan government could consider providing support to women left behind.
Womens Circles As A Culturally Safe Psychosocial Intervention In Guatemalan Indigenous Communities: A Community
Additionally, specialized courts and related institutions were in departmental capitals, introducing additional barriers for poor women from rural areas. Some Santa Nimá community leaders distrusted the newly established justice of the peace because judges were ignorant of their local customs and rarely employed people who spoke their language. This linguistic gap disproportionately affected women who were less likely to speak Spanish. While some indigenous women appreciated the new avenue for child support and alimony claims, they found that judges offered inconsistent support in the face of VAW.
Or think about the hijab and the significance which it holds to millions of women throughout the world. Search YouTube for ‘ways to wear hijab’ and you’ll find hundreds of styles, each with its own cultural and geographic associations. Her body was found last week in a northern region of Guatemala after she went missing for two days. In 2020 alone, nearly 500 femicides were reported in Guatemala, and at least 60 children were killed.
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As it is, 99% of femicide cases are unprosecuted, further perpetuating violence against women. Guatemala made waves in 1982 when it ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women . Though the progress she sees is incremental, with changes in her participants’ daily lives unfolding over time, she finds it rewarding to be able to support indigenous groups in this way. She emphasizes that “women and indigenous communities are a majority in Guatemala” – it is time for them to enjoy the same voice and rights as other groups. “NIMD has given me the tools to strengthen my political knowledge and leadership,” says Nanci Paola Chiriz Sinto, a young leader who promotes and defends the collective and individual rights of women and indigenous peoples in Guatemala. She became the National Secretary for Youth for Winaq, a political movement with roots in the indigenous communities of Guatemala. We have quality improvement data prior to study initiation that was collected from June 2017 to September 2018 by the Madres Sanas community nurses.
More women have faced challenges to advance their careers while they take care of their children in lockdown. The government has done little to introduce necessary, and long overdue, reforms. A year ago, as one of his first acts in office, President Alejandro Giammattei slashed the budget of the so-called Presidential Secretariat for Women, which is meant to protect women’s rights. Many women have had enough of being seen as targets for violence and having to fear for their lives every day.
Historians believe she was the most powerful person in the kingdom of Calakmul, a Mayan community opposed to the influential King ‘El Zotz’ ruling the Tikal kingdom. Guatemala’s ancient Mayan civilization reached its splendor between the years 250 and 900. Today, Indigenous and Black women in Guatemala have been more visible while gaining more ground. They are redefining feminism, questioning racist structures, transforming justice systems and making great art.
This, in turn, reduced the likelihood that many women could leave abusive situations or afford the high costs of pursuing justice, and ensured that the institutions to which they could turn would be under-resourced. In this view, reforms that are not focused on VAW, such as tax reform, land redistribution, and increases in social spending, are necessary to reduce women’s exposure to violence and to increase their effective access to justice. Finding Virginia’s attacker guilty of physical violence in the public sphere, the judge sentenced him to six years in prison and mandated that he pay $1,350 to cover Virginia’s legal costs. Although Virginia’s father challenged societal norms in his open support of his daughter and incurred significant financial and emotional costs in assisting her, the judge denied his requested reparations, arguing that there was inadequate proof of costs. Given the informal nature of agricultural work and the lack of receipts for transportation and other services in rural areas, it would have been difficult to prove financial costs. The decision to deny Virginia’s father reparations overlooked this reality and also failed to acknowledge that the trauma was felt at a group level and that Virginia’s navigation of the state required extensive familial support. In 2008 Guatemala passed legislation criminalizing various forms of violence against women and mandating the creation of courts that would specialize in such violence.
DMMs also promote dialogue between women’s organizations and municipalities to work on municipal equity policies and help strengthen the role of women’s organizations. The violence committed against Sepur Zarco’s women and their families seems to have been a response to their attempts to settle on and get title to the land, particularly in the late 1970s. According to an expert witness in the the Sepur Zarco trial, Juan Carlos Peláez Villalobos, the military was called in and the indigenous peasant farmers were denounced as “subversives”. Successive governments, often wracked with corruption, have done little to find justice or economic power for indigenous women, activists say. “Indigenous populations and particularly indigenous women bore the brunt of the conflict,” said Sarah Taylor, a women’s rights advocate at Human Rights Watch.
The communities, assigned to clusters, are described with their nurse team in Table1. The first step, as noted previously, was to divide our Madres Sanas communities into study clusters.