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Indigenous women

Matilde Sub and Maria Ba Caal.
UN Women

During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community.

Many women have started their own businesses since participating in skills and livelihood training delivered by the project, including creating and selling handicrafts at the local markets.
UN Women

The city centre of Apia is festive today. The market stalls are laden with handmade mats, baskets and traditional jewellery made by women from rural Samoa; music and laughter lace the air. The two-day market is part of an event to showcase the results of a project that trained and empowered 5,170 nofotane women in the course of the last two years, funded by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.

UN Women

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.

UNFPA

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.

FAO

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.