Women's Rights, Equity, & Security

TRANSFORMING POWER, PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN EL SALVADOR

January 8, 2015

An Interview with Social Movement Leader and Parliamentarian Estela Hernandez

By Beverly Bell

The social movement La Coordinadora is organizing to protect lands and waters - including the Bay of Jiquilisco, pictured here - from corporate development, instead promoting ecological health and sustainable livelihood. Photo: Erika Blumenfeld, EcoViva

La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in El Salvador is a grassroots, community-led organization of 27,000 families in more than 100 communities. It is transforming economic and political power and the health of the environment, across the department of Usulután. Pillars of La Coordinadora are participatory democracy, empowerment of women and youth, and – still in the works - education and health care for all. The communities are generating income through a green economy based on ecological agriculture and fishing. La Coordinadora is working to build food sovereignty, protect ecosystems, and preserve the largest remaining mangrove forest in the area.

Estela Hernandez is a leader of La Coordinadora and its affiliated non-profit organization, the Mangrove Association. She is also an elected member of the national legislature. There, Hernandez sits on the Environment and Climate Change Commission, the body that drafts environmental legislation.

When Words Cost Lives

January 6, 2015

By Carol Polsgrove

Carol Polsgrove on Writers' Lives

I came across El Sonar de las Mujeres de la Tierra y el Mar in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, in a store featuring memorabilia of the Zapatista rebellion: tee-shirts, posters, cards but also books, among them this one, pointed out to me by the man behind the counter, Tim Russo.

GENDERING PEASANT MOVEMENTS, GENDERING FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

November 4, 2014

"What peasant and grassroots women want is to build a feminism pertinent to their realities." -Pamela Caro. Photo Credit: Pamela Caro.A problem peasant women face is invisibility in the feminist and women’s movements. A second problem is the weakness with which the food sovereignty concept has dealt with the challenges of feminism.  

To take the second problem first: Latin America has assumed the struggle for food sovereignty as an alternative to the neoliberal economic model. Food sovereignty is based on the conviction that each people has the right to make decisions about its own food systems: about its own eating habits; about its production, marketing, distribution, exchange, and sharing; and about keeping food and seeds in the public sphere. If we establish that food sovereignty is how people decide what to produce and under what conditions, our question from a feminist point of view is, then: how do people make decisions? Who decides how power is organized? Probably, in reality we’ll see that peasant women are in secondary roles in decision-making areas. 

U.S. Has No Plans for Leniency With Unaccompanied Migrant Children

June 24, 2014

Cross posted from Color Lines
By: Julianne Hing

Migrants fleeing Central America for the U.S. will not be greeted with open arms, the Obama administration wants to make clear. In fact, to deal with the influx of an expected 90,000 migrants this year, the Obama administration will be funneling immigration officers and judges to the region to accelerate processing—and deportations—of migrants, reports the New York Times.

GENDER EQUITY FOR RURAL HAITIAN WOMEN: AN INTERVIEW WITH KETTLY ALEXANDRE OF THE PEASANT MOVEMENT OF PAPAY

April 22, 2014

 

Interviewed by Beverly Bell, Edited by Jessica Hsu

April 22, 2014


Kettly Alexandre of the Peasant Movement of Papay Women's Committee. Photo: Beverly Bell

The Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) is one of the largest small-farmer associations in Haiti with 70,000 members, of whom close to half are women. MPP was founded in 1973 to improve the living conditions of small farmers while working for social and economic justice. Here, Kettly Alexandre of the MPP Women’s Committee speaks to advances made over 40 years for women’s rights, equity, and an end to violence.

Nobel Women's Initiative: Spotlighting Berta Cáceres Flores, Honduras

November 19, 2013

Cross-posted from Nobel Women's Initiative

“Women have been resisting, defending our lives, our bodies, our territories, our culture, our spirituality, our autonomy because we desire not only territorial autonomy and autonomy for this country, we want autonomy for our bodies, for individuals, for the sovereignty of the body of people. “

Meet Berta Cáceres Flores.

Human Rights Groups Petition Inter-American Commission to Protect Threatened Haitian Lawyer

September 15, 2013

Cross-posted from IJDH

(PORT-AU-PRINCE September 12, 2013)— Two human rights groups—the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti and U.S.-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)—today asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for “precautionary measures” against the Haitian government on behalf of human rights lawyer Patrice Florvilus.  Attorney Florvilus, who heads the Defenseurs des Opprimes (Defenders of the Oppressed) in Haiti, has faced threats, intimidation, and harassment from police and judicial officials in retaliation for his legal representation of police brutality victims. 

Announcing "Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's New Divide" - Order here!

April 17, 2013

Announcing Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's Divide
By Beverly Bell
Forward by Edwidge DanticatCornell University Press

Beverly Bell, an activist and award-winning writer, has dedicated her life to working for democracy, women's rights, and economic justice in Haiti and elsewhere. Since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake of January 12, 2010, that struck the island nation, killing more than a quarter-million people and leaving another two million Haitians homeless, Bell has spent much of her time in Haiti. Her new book, Fault Lines, is a searing account of the first year after the earthquake.

 

SISTER SIMONE: EULOGY FOR A HAITIAN HEROINE

March 8, 2013

By Beverly Bell
March 8, 2013

On this International Women's Day, we rerun a 2005 piece on one of our greatest heroines, Marie Simone Alexandre. Though she died eight years ago, her life and message remain as powerful and inspirational today as any we know. 

"It was thanks to God and Sister Simone." I heard this over and over in the mid-1990s as I was interviewing rape survivors in one of Port-au-Prince's shantytowns. The women were battling the devastating effects of rape, employed as a weapon of war by one in a decades-long series of U.S.-backed regimes.[i] My question to these women, which so often invoked Simone's name, was "From where have you found the strength to go on?"

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