From rude comments and unwanted touching and groping to rape and murder, sexual violence and harassment has reached pandemic proportions, according to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which recently launched a campaign in Mexico City to tackle the issue on public transport.
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The international community must do more to end the inhumane practice of human trafficking and protect migrants and refugees - particularly young people, women and children - from those who attempt to exploit their opportunity for a better future, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, urging all nations to recognize their responsibility in combating the global scourge.
Natividad Coc believes midwifes are born, not made, and she received the calling herself and went into midwifery training while still a young girl. One sunny afternoon, as she makes her rounds in the mountainous district of Chimaltenango, Guatemala.
“The soldiers broke my marriage,” a woman from Guatemala said. “They burned everything we had. We had nowhere to go. When we finished our shifts at the base, we were forced to provide food for the soldiers, to make tortillas and wash uniforms. For six years.”
Zoila Esperanza Morán never learned how to read or write. As the eldest girl in a family of two sisters and a brother, she never had a chance to go to school. “Education is not important for women,” her mother would say. And so Zoila spent her childhood helping with chores at home, until the age of 15, when she was married off without her consent.
How a multi-agency programme is making a difference in the lives of rural women around the world.
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.
Guatemala - Repeatedly shaken down by gang members for a weekly US$30 protection payment he could barely afford, Salvadoran bus driver Javier filed a complaint with the police. A family man with two teenage daughters, he recalls waking up at 3:00 am the next day with a knot of fear in his stomach.