Although we rarely remember to celebrate it in the United States, today many of our partners in countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala are participating in marches, teach-ins, and even parties. Why? Because there are so many strong and brave women to honor and there's still so much more education to be done before we see equal rights and an end to violence against women in Latin America.In Colombia, we're proud to celebrate strong women like Martha Giraldo and the women leaders of MOVICE, the movement of the victims of state crimes, who are pursuing justice for the murders of their loved ones even though it endangers their lives. As our partner Witness for Peace reported, Martha was recently driven off the road and told at gunpoint to stop speaking out or she would be killed. But she will not be silenced and neither will the many other women pushing for accountability for the murderers of their sons, daughters, fathers, nephews, and uncles. Take a couple moments to watch Martha's video of her story, then click here to send a message of solidarity to Martha and wish her a happy International Women's Day.
In Mexico, we remember Esther Chávez Cano, a powerful champion for women's rights who struggled to eradicate gender-based violence and whose efforts raised worldwide attention to the ever-growing toll of unresolved murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez. Among her many accomplishments, Esther founded Casa Amiga, the first rape crisis center in the region, a place of refuge for the many women who survive rape and domestic abuse and a center of advocacy for the cases of women who have lost their lives to violence. Click here to read more about Esther's inspiring life and the current situation in Cuidad Juárez.
Meanwhile, in Guatemala, our partners at Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA (GHRC) are marching with Norma Cruz, the director of the Survivor's Foundation, to show their support for her efforts to end femicide and attain justice for victims of violence against women in Guatemala. With over 4,700 women brutally murdered since 2000 and domestic violence at an unacceptably high rate, Guatemala is a dangerous place for women. Click here to read Norma's words about their ongoing struggle for rights.
So today, while you celebrate the strength, beauty, and wisdom of the women in your life, please join us in standing with these courageous women and the many others across Latin America who work every day to create a world in which there is justice and rights for all.