UNIFEM and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice present a documentary screening of "Leading the Way to Peace." The film documents the lives and work of four courageous women: Christiana Thorpe of Sierra Leone, currently serving as Chief Electoral Commissioner; Zarina Salamat of Pakistan, a leader in the peace movement between India and Pakistan; Shreen Abdul Saroor of Sri Lanka, one of the founders of Mannar Women’s Development Federation; and Luz Méndez of Guatemala, a respected gender activist who serves as President of the Advisory Board of the National Union of... Read more
Andrea Ixchíu is a K'iche de Totonicapán woman from Guatemala. She is a journalist and workshop facilitator dedicated to promoting indigenous women’s rights in Guatemala. Since childhood, Andrea has organized local campaigns to denounce violence against women in her community. She now delivers workshops to youth on preventing gender violence. Read more
This report provides insight into integrating cultural analysis in development programmes, especially in the critical areas of gender equity and equality and reproductive health and rights. The culmination of two years' work with UNFPA field offices, headquarters staff and technical advisers, the report examines culturally sensitive programming during the past decade in a number of countries where UNFPA operates- Brazil, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Uganda and Yemen. Read more
This Declaration, known as a pedagogic and debate work tool, is a proposal, in permanent construction, of the Declaration of Human Rights from a Gender Perspective, that integrates the progress related to human rights since 1948. It presents the following chapters:I. Rights of identity and citizenship.II. The right to peace and to a violence-free life.III. Sexual and reproductive rights.IV. Right to development.V. Environmental rights. Read more
This document analyzes the changes in Latin America and the relationship between democratic governance and the reform of gender inequality practices. It provides two sections that evaluate the concept of governance, and the reflection on the relationship between gender and institutions. It also emphasizes the work of the women’s movement to achieve the democratization of societies and the regulation of institutional frameworks based on gender parity. Read more
"She got a divorce because of her ambition and love of money," shopkeeper Dulce Álvarez told IPS, about Guatemalan former First Lady Sandra Torres' decision to end her marriage in order to sidestep the legal bar to the president's family members running for the presidency.
Like Álvarez, various Guatemalan women's groups and their leaders said the controversial decision by the wife of President Álvaro Colom, whose term ends in 2012, was "unethical", although others have viewed it as a reaction to "the marginalisation women are subjected to in this country."
For more... Read more
At stake in this election: •The office of President of Guatemala Description of government structure: •Chief of State: President Alvaro COLOM Caballeros •Head of Government: President Alvaro COLOM Caballeros •Assembly: Guatemala has a unicameral Congress of the Republic (Congreso de la Republica) with 158 seats. Description of electoral system: •The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 4-year term. •In the Congress of the Republic (Congreso de la Republica) 158 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve... Read more
The first indigenous woman candidate for president of Guatemala, Rigoberta Menchú, is behind in the polls, but the very fact that she is standing is an important precedent and a sign that the political system is more open, analysts say.
To read the full article, please visit the IPS News Website. Read more
SANDRA TORRES, who divorced the president of Guatemala in order to be eligible for a presidential run in next month’s election, has been ruled out of the contest once and for all. One of Latin America’s weirdest political sagas finally came to an end when the Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that her marriage to Álvaro Colom, the current president, made her candidacy unconstitutional.
For more reading, please visit: The Economist Read more
This paper was prepared for the Expert Group Meeting on “Enhancing Women’s Participation in Electoral Process in Post-Conflict Countries." It analyzes the participation of Guatemalan women in the two elections which took place during the post-conflict period. It focuses special attention on the different types of strategies and activities put into practice by women's organizations during the 2003 elections, and includes specific recommendations to enhance the role of women in electoral processes. Read more
Dr. María Eugenia Villagrán De León, President of the Supreme Elections Tribunal of Guatemala (TSE), has a history of transcending gender barriers and achieving great success. To her, ensuring that women have equal opportunities and are living in a safe country where they have political rights is a personal cause.
The daughter of former Guatemalan Vice President Francisco Villagrán Kramer, she has seen firsthand the sacrifices made for good governance and the rule of law. Today, she wants to expand these rights to all citizens.
IFES worked closely with Villagrán during Guatemala’s 2011... Read more
This Report evaluates the evolution of the Cairo Program of Action, and focuses on sexual and reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health. It identifies and analyzes the normative progress in 20 countries in the region. It also presents issues relating to HIV/AIDS prevention and violence against women. The legislative situation has been examined independently of enforcement or actual impact, except in those countries where different reports have been made for committees monitoring compliance with United Nations conventions and treaties. Read more
30 Years of Democracy: Riding the Wave? Women’s Political Participation in Latin America. “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.”
This report examines the progress made in women’s participation at all levels of public and party decision making, in the three decades since the start of the third wave of democratization, drawing on data from 18 countries in the region. It goes beyond mere numbers, highlighting not only the progress that has been made, but also some of the obstacles that women face in public life and presents a number of... Read more
While women in Guatemala have slowly been making political gains, a new report by NDI and UN Women shows that a significant gender gap persists. The report, Between Challenge and Reality: Women and Political Participation in Guatemala, examines the progress made in recent elections, some obstacles women face and potential areas for improvement.
We invite our users to read the complete article published January 24 2014 Read more
Otilia Lux de Coti Former Minister of Culture and Sports, winner of the Bartolomé de las Casas Prize, Member of the Guatemalan Congress
"When we get involved in politics, we gain a better understanding of power and we discover that it is an indispensable goal if we want to have a voice in key decisions. Being outside is not the same as being inside. When you’re inside, you find a deeply rooted, established structure, and although it is an enormous challenge, those of us who are inside have to find a way to make it more flexible and change it. When we are outside, we talk about change, but if we keep talking about change without having power, we won’t be able to bring about that change." - Otilia Lux de Coti
iKNOW Politics:... Read more
Even though women have advanced in terms of the quality and quantity of their political participation in almost every country in the world, some of them are still experiencing gender based harassment and violence in politics. In countries that have incorporated the principles of alternation and parity in the drawing up of candidates’ lists for elections, with a man and a woman in the titular and substitute positions, many women are still victims of harassment and violence and are forced to renounce their positions, leaving men in the positions of power.
For that reason, several Latin American... Read more
This publication draws together the experiences and lessons learnt by Central American women working on promoting gender equity in local government. Opportunities and obstacles for women presented by decentralisation are explored with reference to official mechanisms for citizens’ participation, participation in elected office and the political system and culture. Read more