Speaking up and changing laws
Despite the long-lasting impact of the war and armed conflict, the grassroots women from Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres and other women’s groups in the country have put their lives on the line to regain their fundamental rights and demand for reconciliation. They have challenged the rhetoric for women from one of pain and suffering to that of female solidarity and participation in order to drive collective action.
Over the years, the women have studied the laws and policies that govern their country, protested in the streets, and worked with the media to promote their advocacy messages.
“Some of the women in our group have very sad stories,” says Margarita. “When we first meet them, they are usually timid and scared, but eventually, they open up,” she says. “It is the only way they can break free from the memories of the past,” she continues.