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Statement from the Barcenas Women Workers' Committee for International Women's Day

Posted on: Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Keywords: Guatemala, Latin America and Caribbean

Today, we received this message from our sister organization in Guatemala, the Barcenas Women Workers´ Commitee, as they recognize International Women's Day.

This March 8, International Women’s Day, we declare ourselves once again voices of change, promoting the adoption of measures to protect women, children and girls from the violence that prevails in our country. We call on all women’s organizations to fortify preventative actions that are necessary to change behavioral attitudes, question stereotypes and create an environment conducive to healthy living in the personal and social relationships between women and men, with the sole objective being to eradicate violence against women on the individual level, in the family, in the community, in their area of work, and their committed participation in education.

This is everyone’s responsibility. In the face of the unfortunate events that increase every day against a woman’s right to live, our organization blames dysfunctional governmental bodies that are unable to complete their duties because of their inability to enforce the law and their use of corrupt strategies and offenses that directly affect women.

Under the banner of International Women’s Day on this March 8, it’s time to make way for the elimination of discriminatory cultural attitudes and economic inequalities that reinforce the subordination of women in society.

We demand that:

•    The Government of Guatemala comply with the law, ensure that the laws are upheld, and understand their responsibility as a governing body and a stakeholder in making political and social change and in promoting a woman’s right to live an equitable and equal life free of violence.
•    The Ministry of Labor intervene quickly in terms of implementing mechanisms of law, so as to prevent the violations of the labor rights of female workers, particularly in the maquilas (sweatshops).
•    The Ministry of Education adhere to educational standards that are employed in a objective and systematic manner with the aim of complying with these standards and not violating them.
•    The Judicial power of the State adhere to the national and international legal standards on violence against women and femicide.
•    The United Nations be vigilant of treaty violations by all countries, but especially those treaties fighting threats of a sexual, occupational, economic, socio-political, educational, and environmental nature, alongside treaties fighting state power that directly marginalizes women.
•    UNITED WE ARE WEAVING THE CHANGE OF OUR LIVES AND OUR WORLD. We wish everyone a day full of hope for change not only in our lives, but in the lives of our daughters and sons.

That is why we speak up to say:

Women: United against violence and femicide in Guatemala.

*For the cessation of violence and the respect of our rights
Women forever united in the fight.

Sandra Gonzalez, President, Women Workers’ Committee

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