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“Women rely on men,” Carmen continued, “they are isolated from their families…of course, some women will say they are in love and that’s why they don’t report it, because they don’t know better”. Earned through her lived experience, Carmen displayed a clear understanding of the destructive cycle of gender-based violence during our interview. Her story embodies sacrifice and commitment to women’s participation and contributions to society from before the war ended in 1996, and yet it is also about one-on-one accompaniment of women leaders. As a college student during the civil war, Giovana observed many cases of injustice and violence; she saw how these affected Indigenous people, women, and the poor across the country. In the 1980s she joined other concerned women who all banded together across different backgrounds to serve as peace builders. The importance of working with women showed Giovana how valuable it is to open space for women to support each other and their contributions. Giovana’s own childhood experiences also contributed to her activism.

  • Unfortunately police officers have not received the necessary sensitization to domestic violence for them to intervene effectively.
  • In 2019, Xiloj Cui applied to become a judge in the Court of Appeals in order to ensure proper representation of Indigenous women from within the system.
  • Additionally, USAID helps build the technical and advocacy capacity of local LGBTQI+ organizations, strengthening their leadership and negotiation skills, engagement strategies, and messaging on key gender issues.
  • One young leader expressed, “I am happy, because now I am no longer afraid .

They are redefining feminism, questioning racist structures, transforming justice systems and making great art. Backed by the United States, gendered violence, and an ongoing land grab on Indigenous territory. Women placed flowers and wrote the names of victims of violence on a fence set at the presidential palace in Mexico City.

New Article Reveals The Low Down on Guatemala Marriage And Why You Need To Take Action Today

The most important was the investigation and prosecution of the country’s former dictator Ríos Montt for crimes against humanity and genocide against the Ixil population in the 1980s during the civil war. It helps female victims of violence, both historical and current, by providing support, counselling and legal assistance.

The 16 circle leaders were identified based on prior collaborations and expressed interest and invited to co-design and co-facilitate the intervention. Nine were former community health workers , six were comadronas and one a community leader . Aged 27 to 70 (mean 47.4 ± 14.5) years, one had no formal schooling, six had incomplete and five completed primary schooling and four had incomplete secondary schooling. After their own researcher-led 10-session Women’s Circle, where the 16 leaders acted as participants, they practiced session delivery (2/week, over 5 weeks).

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María Toj, 70, another victim, says the violence hasn’t stopped, but she is still determined to speak out. “They tortured me and my son. They burned everything, leaving me with nothing but my dead husband and my pain. I hope our efforts will stop this from ever happening again.” The national maternal mortality rate in Guatemala is 140 per 100,000 births, compared to nine in the UK. In the departments of Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango, where the Guardian visited, maternal mortality continues to be an issue. According to provisional Ministry of Health figures, in Totonicapán there were 21 maternal deaths in 2017, up from 16 the year before.

All infants were completely breast-fed when this study was conducted, so that breast milk was their only source of vitamin B-12. Mothers did not take vitamin B-12 supplements during pregnancy or lactation. Nanci was also the youngest participant in NIMD’s Women’s Political Rights conference, held in Tunisia in 2017. She found it enriching to learn from participants in such an international environment outside of her country.

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Neter et al. 1985) were used to determine the main determinants of maternal plasma vitamin B-12, holo TC II and folate, breast milk vitamin B-12 and infant UMMA concentrations. Maternal hemoglobin and hematocrit concentrations were controlled for in the multiple regression models. Apparently murder and gang-rapes linked to Canadian mining projects in Guatemala are not enough to encourage lawmakers in Canada to pass legislation that would hold their country’s companies accountable for these crimes and human rights abuses. Sandra Moran, a Guatemalan feminist, lesbian, artist and activist working on women’s rights and human rights in Guatemala City, is a member and co-founder of Colectivo Artesana and Alianza Politica Sector de Mujeres. She lived in exile in Canada for 14 years after participating in the country’s student movement in the early 1980s.

Our findings add to the accruing evidence from LMIC that non-mental health specialists such as CHWs and local women peers can be effective delivery-agents of psychosocial interventions, including group interventions . This has important implications in yet another context where health professionals are scarce and where populations are additionally weary of consulting formal health services . As in other studies , our leaders received focused training and ongoing supervision. They shared mothers’ sociocultural context and already held their community’s trust and support, allowing them to access mothers and take on their new role with relative ease and increasing the intervention’s cultural safety and acceptability. The impact that participating in the intervention had on the circle leaders’ own wellbeing validates using a cascade approach for its delivery and speaks to the need for also addressing community-based health professionals’ psychosocial health needs. This pilot demonstrated acceptability and feasibility of intervention co-design by local women, in a historically excluded population rarely consulted in decision-making processes relating to their own health. This is of particular relevance to Guatemala’s indigenous populations, where most psychosocial problems can be traced to the daily stresses of poverty, discrimination, structural violence and a weakened post-conflict social fabric .

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