Even as the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, there are a handful of stories that highlight the ongoing need to improve women’s rights in Latin America.
-The Small Arms Survey released its report on femicide and anti-woman violence, and the results are disconcerting, to put it mildly. Latin American countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, and Guyana, all rank “very high” (6-12 femicides per 100,000 people), with Venezuela, Belize, Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic ranking “high” (3-6 femicides per 100,000 people). You can read the full report here.
-Violence is not the only way in which women continue to struggle in the region; rural women continue to have a difficult time trying to make a living through farming, getting loans, or attaining recognition for their labor and needs in the countrysides of Latin America.
-In spite of high-profile leaders like Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and Chilean ex-president Michele Bachelet, politics continues to be the domain of men in many countries, as women continue to find it difficult to achieve political recognition and success in electoral politics.
-Latina women (and others) in the US also find themselves victims of the increasingly-restrictive anti-woman policies of politicians who stand against social justice and reproductive rights, as this story on the declining health care options for women in low-income families in Texas reminds us.
-While these obstacles are troubling, women continue to fight for better rights and access to equal treatment in all levels of society, as this powerful story (in Spanish) of Aura Lolita Chávez reminds us. Chávez, a Mayan woman who continues to fight for human rights not just for indigenous communities, but also for indigenous women’s health, is but one of the many women whose work for a better world and greater equality we should celebrate not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.