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Photo: March against violence against women in Leon, Nicaragua – organized by Mujeral in Action, New Haven León Sister City Project, Casa de Colores, Ixchen-Leon, other organizations and individual feminists.
On November 26th of this year, we helped organize the International Day Against Violence Against Women event in León. Since 2012, NHLSCP has helped mark this important annual event. We get together with several feminist organizations and individuals to march through the streets of Leon, demand our rights, and expose abuses that Nicaraguan women experience. Women from the rural communities of Goyena and Troilo also participated with their own peaceful demands.
To mark the 55th year of the International Day Against Violence Against Women, we remembered and honored the Mirabal sisters; Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa, who were murdered by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic in 1960. In the 21st century, even though women are legally recognized as citizens with human rights, we continue to be abused, raped, sold, beaten, exploited, denigrated and killed. We will not stop marching and fighting for justice until we are respected and patriarchy and all its institutional expressions are abolished. Feminist Women demand that the government, the laws, and the public guarantee a country that’s inclusive, fair, free and healthy for all. We actively sympathize with the survivors of gender violence, who are abused, raped, and killed. We denounce the impunity that is guaranteeing more violence in Leon, Nicaragua, in Latin America, and in the world, because we want “Not One Less Women” woman abused.
Photo: Women organizations and individual feminists in activity “Women in Black Action for Women’s Lives – Not One More”.
On July 10th, women’s organizations conducted nationwide simultaneous actions to denounce femicide in Nicaragua, demanding ‘Not One More’. New Haven/Leon Sister City Project, in conjunction with women’s organizations and individual women feminists, helped organize the activity ‘Women in Black’. This was a performance representing the 34 femicides to date in 2015, denouncing that in 60% of the cases the aggressors had some family ties to the victims, that the home remains the most unsafe place for women. We demanded that the state’s 779 Law be enforced without reform as it was approved in 2012. That day we denounced the lack of institutional support available when victims seek access to justice. This is a problem because of the collusion, inefficiency, and prevalence of a patriarchal thought, and the influence peddling which benefits the aggressors. Even with the serious situation of violence in which we live, we recognize the courage and determination that many women are showing when they put in their complaints or seek help to leave violent situations and manage to save their own lives. We call women to continue to denounce violence in all its forms, and demand the law enforcement Law 779.
Magdalena Claudia Salazar, 19 years old, has been a member of the Environmental Youth Brigade in Goyena for 2 years.
Claudia is a dynamic active youth from Goyena, currently in her 3rd year of high school. This young student was previously in NHLSCP’s Afterschool Program and is now a member of the Youth Brigade. Claudia left school for a while due to economic problems in her family and had to work to support them. Currently she is suffering from an illness in her eyes called photophobia, which has somewhat limited in their studies as it gives her headaches and irritates her eyes when reading. But at age 19, she is still struggling to keep learning and get to college, and her goal is to study agronomy and to cultivate the land owned by her family.
Currently Claudia receives a stipend (supported by Temple Emanuel), which allows her to continue her studies. Claudia, at her young age, is already an example of perseverance and leadership to many young people in her community. Like her, they also dream of reaching college.
Amir entered the Afterschool Program in 2009 in first grade. Everyday he attended with great enthusiasm and discipline, and was one of the best students in both the Afterschool Program and in the formal school. His friends describe him as very active, dynamic, enthusiastic, funny and above all very friendly. Previously, Amir’s family lived in Posoltega but with Hurricane Mitch in 1998, they lost everything including some family members. They moved to Goyena where an organization donated a house for them.
This year Amir completed his primary school studies as an outstanding student. Amir looks forward now to studying in high school, to going college, and in the future to be a professional so he can help his family and his community. With the Afterschool Program we intend to support many children like Amir so they can fulfill their dreams for a better future. The Program also educates parents of these children about the importance of education as a human right, that all can work towards improving their community, and that education is a source of liberation.