Sixty-three-year-old Soledad Miranda is among the emerging group of women construction workers of La Paz, Bolivia. Miranda started working at age seven and received no schooling, like many other indigenous girls in her community. She survived an abusive marriage and with the help of the Association of Women Construction Workers, carved out a new life for herself and her children.
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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 United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia today announced she will be visiting the country Monday to assess the enjoyment of rights by women and indigenous peoples in the country.
“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.”
In the wake of the assassination of human rights activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras, an independent United Nations human rights expert is calling on the Government in that country to ensure the safety and protection of a second activist who witnessed the killing and was injured during the attack.
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.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, strongly condemns the murder on 3 March of indigenous leader, environmentalist and defender of human rights, Berta Cáceres, who was shot in her home in the city of La Esperanza in western Honduras.
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.
"When I was 9 years old, my mother told me that three of her sisters died because her grandmother practiced female genital mutilation (FGM)," says Patricia Tobon Yagarí, an Emberá indigenous lawyer from Colombia. "Her mother managed to rescue her, and she told me that the practice had been eradicated in our Emberá community."