HAVANA TIMES – The Matagalpa Women’s Collective has been defending and empowering both rural and urban women and girls since the mid-1980s. They often worked in collaboration with different institutions of the governments that held power since then. Their proven work drew support from numerous international NGOs, women’s organizations, solidarity groups and others.
Now the Ortega-Murillo regime has taken away their legal status, like well over 50 other national NGOs and several international organizations.
The objective appears to be the elimination of any civil society organizations that promote citizen empowerment and participation in local and national affairs.
The Women’s Collective can lose their physical space and other assets, but the determination of its members continues strong. Yes, there is fear, nobody wants to be imprisoned, but they refuse to be silenced.
The following appears on their facebook page:
To Have a Voice, in the Face of Impunity
“And now, I have words, and I discover that words are good.” -Mariana Yonusg
Using the voice we’ve been denied
Speaking might seem like the most normal thing in life. However, we’ve met many women who would barely say their name, especially at a public event.
We’ve been educated to be silent; scandal is something to be feared, and they silence us – beginning in childhood when we’re told: “you look prettier when your mouth is shut”, right through to the media, where we don’t appear, or we appear in the news – silenced.”
Silence is related to shame and guilt, “with secrets we’ll take to our graves.” How many times have we remained silent in the face of injustice? Out of fear, or because of threats, or because they wrap us in a socially acceptable conspiratorial silence. While there’s no justice, we carry the burden of responsibility that – by rights – should be carried by the aggressors.