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victoria.jpgRSS Victoria Sandino Palmera

Victoria Sandino Palmera is member of the Peace Delegation and she is part of its Gender Subcommission 
Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

Women, Peace requires your participation

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It's important to say that building a stable and long-lasting peace requires an effective gender equity in Colombia. There are many factors of the national situation that negatively influence the possibilities for women to fully develop their capabilities.

The economic model and social relations that prevail in our country, devolve their tough consequences over the poorest classes and sectors, affecting women in particular. Such a state is not derived from their physical or intellectual conditions, but mainly from the marginalized and subordinated position patriarchal society has placed them.

A long march has been undertaken by women to obtain their full human and social condition, thanks to which, especially in the last hundred years, they have won important claims and improvements. However, many loads still need to be equaled.

In a country like ours, women's rights are still looked down upon by the dominant groups in society and the state.

Colombian women make up 52% ??of the total population; it is not unreasonable to say that their work is harder than that of the male population, because apart from their work to bring resources to their families, there is also the domestic job, for which they don't receive any consideration or remuneration.

In that order, of every ten women who work, eight earn less than the minimum wage and a minimum wage barely provides 45% of the family budget; it's easy to conclude that women suffer even greater exploitation than men, as a small upper class family would not be able to survive just one week with a salary of this category.

Just consider that in 2007, 60% of the Colombian population lived in poverty; of these, 26.6% households were headed by women. In that same year, the indigent population represented 25% of all Colombians, of which 31.4% of the households had female heads.

On the other hand, the participation of women in the world of political decisions is highly restricted. The quota law with its small percentage, only 30% for women, only deals with executive responsibilities, without covering other areas of public life.

The low rate of participation of women in political candidacy is obvious, despite of the fact that political parties have rules for their participation, in real life they are easily dodged. Women barely occupy a poor 14% of the seats in Congress, something that is also seen, in greater or lesser extent, in other elective bodies.

While the Constitutional Court has decriminalized abortion for three specific circumstances, the possibility of effectively accessing to abortion in those cases, is restricted by different obstacles imposed by the Attorney General's Office. And although sexual and reproductive health is a matter of both men and women, for women it becomes more important because of the particular impact of diseases related to biological conditions that enable motherhood.

There are diverse and frequent studies about violence against women. They show the situation of inferiority of women, regarding physical and psychological pressure by their husbands at home.

Similarly, the social and armed conflict has highlighted the continuing violation of human rights, and the phenomenon of forced displacement reaches the second place in the world, where women are most affected because they have lost their partner, child or family member.

Actually, I'm just trying to roughly sketch out the conditions of Colombian women, especially the poor, which, obviously, can and should be extended in its proper perspective in other occasions.

When the FARC-EP raise our flags of Social Justice and political democracy, we do it while we feel in our souls the pain of Colombian mothers, of all women, young or adult, destined to repeat their sad fate for generations.

Female guerrilla combatants, daughters of these suffering people, proudly revolutionary and combatant women, have consecrated life for the cause of the marginalized. We carry deep in our hearts the tears shed by many Colombian women; victims in one way or another of this senseless regime.

We know better than anyone that this conflict must end. But we are sure that without the help of the rest of you, women, it will be impossible.

Women, the struggle may be tough, but it's the only way towards a future of hope! 

Last modified on Monday, 07 July 2014 16:53