"As we begin to transform from guerrilla fighters into civilian women, I allowed myself to imagine what our life will be like in the medium term, once our project consolidates. Whatever direction we take, I'm sure that we will definitely not be exchanging our guns for brooms." Sarah Luna Nariño, FARC-EP. Farianas
I was a peasant. I lived with my parents and 6 brothers in the field in Vereda El Narciso, some 3 hours by bus in the municipality of Urrao, Antioquia. Like many peasants, we barely survived with what we raised. [...] Rumors had it armed groups had arrived who were murdering and expelling peasants and this was creating terror and that many had left, leaving all their goods and dreams behind. In 2001 they arrived where I lived, threatening people they branded as guerrilla collaborators, they took my older brother by force, and so far I have never heard from him. [...] Today I am part of the group of peace pedagogy of the 57 front and I know that I am closer to achieving my dream of being a teacher. Farianas
“When I was fourteen I stumbled on a mine as I was walking through my village. It was damp so it didn’t go off. I saw people maimed by mines when I was growing up. I saw children die for a war that wasn’t theirs. Like many people, violence had a big impact on us. And now I’m a mine clearance expert. I really love my work. I can’t tell you how great it feels when I finish clearing a mined area.” says Marta Quintero. She is one of a number of local women whose day job is to save lives. Relief Web
In honour of International Women’s Day, Algoma University (Ontario) will be hosting a special talk with Charo Mina Rojas and Associate Professor Dr. Sheila Gruner on March 9th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm in the Great West Life Amphitheatre. The talk will focus on Indigenous and Afrocolombian women, alternatives to development and conflict, and Colombia’s peace process. Sault Online
More than the numbers, the key concern is to prevent cases of sexual abuse and exploitation, as has happened in other regions of the world (Africa, Bosnia and Haiti, among others). It has been proven that, as the number of women increases in these operations, the number of reports of sexual violence decreases. El Espectador
Women have conquered this space of social and political engagement by becoming aware of their reality and highlighting the special impact that the conflict has had on them. The campaign Violations and Other Violence: Get My Body Out of War is an example, producing documents such as the Survey on Sexual Violence in the context of the conflict or the report Stop chasing girls and boys! Photo, María Eugenia Cruz, survival and leader of the organization Woman follow my steps /CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZEl País
Isabel Caicedo Polanco is a woman of remarkable courage. She is a devoted daughter, mother, partner, community activist and human rights defender. She describes herself as an example of her community in Barrancabermeja, Colombia and of her organization, the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP), a KAIROS partner. Like so many women from marginalized communities in Colombia, Isabel is herself a victim of Colombia’s 50 year armed conflict.
A group of young Moms from Bogotá and Cali joined forces to support demobilized FARC women who've given birth or are about to. "Raising Peace," as the project is known, seeks to provide each FARC mom (or soon-to-be-mom) with everything necessary for their newborns in the 27 zones where guerrillas are concentrating as they transition to civilian life. Data from the Ombudsman's Office indicate that there are some 300 pregnant guerrilla fighters. About 75 babies have been born in recent months. To support this campaign, please make a deposit to the Jera Foundation, account 001985993, Banco del Occidente; or to call 313 3778830, in Bogota, and 315 3629222, in Cali. Or write to criandolapaz@gmail. com.El Tiempo