Women Mobilized in Latin America; in Nicaragua They Were Besieged

In Managua, women university students had to carry out their protest inside the Central American University. EFE/Carlos Herrera / NIU

Thousands of women marched this March 8 and 9 in Latin America, while in Nicaragua the Police besieged and repressed any attempted demonstration. 

By Niu / EFE / Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Women marched on March 8th around the world. They marched to make their demands public, to ask for the decriminalization of abortion, to press for an end to gender violence. In Nicaragua, instead, women were not only unable to demonstrate in the streets, but the few who tried to pay a tribute to commemorate International Women’s Day were repressed and besieged by the Police.

We will show you the best images of feminist marches in Latin America and we also tell you about the siege of Nicaraguan feminist women’s groups.

Managua, a city besieged

At least three different activities to commemorate International Women’s Day were besieged by the Police in Nicaragua. One of them was to be held at the “La Corriente” (the current) program, where a group of feminists tried to read a statement and pay homage to the feminist movement of Nicaragua this March 8.

On Monday, March 9, women university students had to march inside the grounds of the Central American University (UCA). The women university students held posters alluding to the feminist struggle and placed purple scarves on the statue of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

Costa Rica, Nicaraguan women marched

In Costa Rica, hundreds of Nicaraguan women who are in the neighboring country in exile, joined the march commemorating March 8. “We are marching for women that today could not do so in Nicaragua,” wrote the journalist Cinthia Membreno, who along with other Nicaraguan women attended the march.

Uruguayan capital full of women

A feminist tide invaded the main avenue of the capital of Uruguay on International Women’s Day on March 8. With shouts, songs, banners, they made visible the struggle for equality which is reclaimed every year.

“Death to Patriarchy;” “We are not alone” or “I did not come out of your ribs, you came out of my womb,” were some of the slogans that could be read in the thousands of banners that women held high.

Santiago, overwhelmed with feminist march

The streets of Chile, especially Santiago, were taken by women this March 8 to fight against machismo and patriarchy on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Then on March 9, the feminist movement returned to take the streets under a suffocating sun that did not prevent a tide of women marching and wielding their posters with feminist slogans. That is how women reached the headquarters of Government, the “Palacio de la Moneda,” covering the largest avenue in Santiago, Chile.

“Today we rise again in a general feminist strike because the movement takes a step forward in this process of popular revolt and we want to say that today our lives are a political problem,” said the spokesperson of the March 8 Feminist Coordinator, Javiera Manzi.

The march, which was carried out mostly peacefully, was lived with expectation because there was not permission of the Metropolitan Intendancy, for fear of being repressed by the Police.

Women in Spain took to the streets

Despite the fear of contagion by COVID-19, the Spanish health authorities maintained the celebration of the mobilizations, which, although very multitudinous, gathered fewer people than last year.

The Government Delegation in Madrid estimated at 12,000 people the attendees, while in Barcelona 50,000 people participated, amounts below the 2019 convocations.

Although a feminist strike has not been called this year, there were calls for mobilization, in the midst of social and political debate about the sexual freedom law and the debates in feminism about prostitution and its own political subjects.

Bolivia will invest in protection of women

La-Corriente-Managua

A group of Bolivian women protested in front of the legislature of La Paz, Bolivia, on March 9, after a men’s march which covered the Murillo Square, to demand a stop to violence against women in La Paz.

The interim government of Bolivia announced on Monday, March 9, the implementation of a plan to protect women victims of violence with an investment of 100 million dollars, financed by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

The Bolivia Women Program was presented by the interim president, Jeanine Anez, at an event at the Government Palace in La Paz on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Ecuador joins the March 8 demonstrations

Ecuadorian women covered the streets of the center of the capital of Ecuador, on Sunday, March 8, to denounce the violation of their rights under the “patriarchal state” that, as they shouted, refuses to assume its responsibility in the face of injustice.

Slogans in favor of abortion, gender equality in the workplace and against femicide, “the worst scourge of modern society,” shone on some of the banners that flooded the demonstration.

“The oppressive state is a macho rapist,” was also chanted with strength by groups of Ecuadorian women taking on as theirs the iconic feminist presentation of Chilean activists “The rapist is you.”

Mexico: women take the streets

Perhaps the most massive march was that of Mexico. Mexican women marched on March 8 during the commemoration of International Women’s Day, in Mexico City (Mexico).

Mexico recorded more than 1,000 femicides—killing of women because of their gender—during 2019, according to official data. In general, in the country 10 women were killed daily, a figure that increases year by year.

On a historic day, many Mexican women also did not go to work on Monday to join the first national women’s strike against femicides that had a great following in government offices, universities and big multinationals, but very little by storekeepers.

Brazil also marches on Women’s Day

In Sao Paolo, Brazil, women marched International Women’s Day. Their demand was in defense of their rights and against President Jair Bolsonaro, whom they accuse of “encouraging machismo and violence” in the country.

A day after International Women’s Day, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), they took the streets to demonstrate against machismo violence, in defense of their rights and in favor of gender equality.

Peru with a strong feminist movement

The Peruvian indigenous population also participated in a mobilization this March 7 on occasion of the celebration of International Women’s Day, in Lima.

The outrage at the wave of femicides in Latin America, where it is estimated that more than 3,800 women are killed every year for gender reasons, also took women back to the streets on March 8. In this way, Peru has strengthened a feminist movement that has, as never before, set the social and political agenda of the region.

Paraguay: “They are killing us”

Hundreds of women participated this March 8 in a march against gender violence, during the commemoration of International Women’s Day, in Asuncion (Paraguay).

“Excuse the inconvenience, but they are killing us,” read one of the banners that accompanied a massive march through Asuncion on Sunday. This was an outcry against machismo violence and against labor discrimination suffered by female Paraguayans.

Women of all ages, mostly young people, concentrated in “Plaza de la Democracia” (Democracy Plaza), in the Asuncion microcenter, to take part in the demonstration, in which justice was requested for women killed this year by their partners or former partners.

Colombia joins the protests

Women, in a festive atmosphere, displayed banners denouncing sexual harassment and violence and demanded punishment for those who incur in these practices.

“Today is not a day to celebrate, it is a day to commemorate, today is a day to struggle and today is a day for all men to realize and open their eyes to the macho violence that we live daily. It is time to finish with patriarchy,” Katherin Angel, leader of a feminist collective, told EFE.

In other Colombian cities there were also events in which women demanded their rights and the need for their increasingly important role in society to be recognized.

“My rapist is still free, and I am still scared,” said one of the banners displayed by a young woman in Medellin, while others claimed the end of femicides with banners such as “We want to be alive.”

Guatemalan women go out to march

Women carried sunflowers while marching in memory of girl victims in the fire of the “Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion.”   EFE/Esteban Biba/ Niu

On March 9, in Guatemala, women marched to remember the 56 girls victims of the fire of the “Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion” (Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home) on March 8, 2017.

With a march through the Historic Center of Guatemala City, the women sang slogans against the State that is accused for the death of the girls, against sexist violence and against the church.

Argentina: feminists “wearing scarves”

Women marched on March 8, in Argentina wearing scarves convened by social organizations in front of the Cathedral of the city of Buenos Aires. Hundreds of people protested with their green scarves, associated with the struggle for the legalization of abortion “without restrictions, safe and free.”

(Click on an image to display the gallery.)



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