Mila Rodriguez is one of the young members of Colombia's Cantadora Network, a network of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace. Supported by a UN Women programme, the Cantadoras have engaged young people in the port city of Tumaco, where decades
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Colombia's half-a-century-long armed conflict has deeply wounded the country's rural areas. Today, rural and indigenous women suffer the highest levels of poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. According to national statistics, 41.9 per cent of rural women-led households live in poverty and 9
In South-West Colombia, where the civil war has left a lasting impact, the Nueva Vida (New Life) project, supported by UN Women and funded by the Embassy of Norway in Colombia, aims to boost women's income and participation in the fishing sector.
Democracy, sustainable peace and conflict prevention cannot be achieved if women-half of the population-are left behind. This year's International Day of Democracy (15 September) theme, "Democracy and Conflict Prevention", calls for "strong leadership to support democracy, strengthen civil society, empower women and uphold the rule of law".
"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."