Stop Violence Against Women in Guatemala

Stop Violence Against Women

Many Guatemalans might regard thrillers and serial killers films as light and interested pieces of fiction because we are confronted with ultra violent headlines in newspapers like Nuestro Diario and Al Día, sensationalist rags that, like mirrors, show us every day how savage we can be. Ironically, Nuestro Diario boasts the largest circulation of any newspaper between Mexico and Colombia. We are desensitized a little more each day! 🙁

El morbo vende, mobidness sells, or something similar declared Miguel Ángel Asturias in his novel Weekend en Guatemala. I will spare you some of the morbid news. Suffice it to say, there are real monsters in Guatemala.

So, when my dear friend Renata Ávila, Guatemalan correspondent for Global Voices, sent me the draft of the agenda for the activities leading up to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I was excited that Guatemala was chosen as the site for the global campaign to stop violence against women. I congratulate the organizers and all the people involved in the campaign to bring awareness and sensitivity back.

Below, you can see the calendar of activities for the next three days. Please, help translate the activities in the comments so non-Spanish speakers can learn what’s is going in Guatemala right now.

24 de noviembre:

9:00 a.m. Feria del Conocimiento organizada por la ONU todo el día, por invitación especializada. Participan organizaciones de mujeres especializadas en temas de la Feria. Lugar: Centro cultural Luís Cardoza y Aragón, Embajada de México.

18:00 p.m. Presentación de la obra de teatro El Laberinto de las mariposas, organizada por Alas de Mariposa en el marco del Lanzamiento Regional, abierta y gratuita para todo público, parqueo gratuito y vigilado.

18:00 Vigila en honor de todas las mujeres asesinadas en Guatemala. Organiza la Coordinadora 25 de noviembre independientemente del Lanzamiento. Parque Central frente a la Puerta Principal del Palacio Nacional.

25 de Noviembre:

9:00 a.m. Día Internacional por la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres. Caravana, marcha y acto político, organizado por la Coordinadora 25 de noviembre como actividad independiente del Lanzamiento. Punto de encuentro en Plaza Italia, frente a la Municipalidad de Guatemala, recorriendo la 6ta. Avenida de la zona 1 hasta llegar al Parque Central, frente a la puerta principal del Palacio Nacional terminando con un Acto Político.

11:00 a.m. Acto Protocolar del Lanzamiento Regional de la Campaña de la ONU. Palacio Nacional. Una delegada de Feministas en Resistencia de Honduras hablará por el movimiento de mujeres de la región en el marco del acto, entre las presentaciones de diversas delegaciones oficiales de la ONU y el Gobierno.

17:00 Con un Nudo en la Garganta, teatro presentado por Rayuela, Caja Lúdica y UNAMG en el marco del “Encuentro Latinoamericano de Arte Comunitario”. Lugar: 6ª Ave. Entre 2ª. Y 3ª. Calle, frente a sede Caja Lúdica.

18:00 Concierto Juvenil Ya no más violencia contra las mujeres organizado por la ONU con la Municipalidad de Guatemala. Entre los grupos, canta Naik Madera de mujeres jóvenes, patrocinadas por el Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres en el marco del Lanzamiento Regional.

26 de noviembre:
(Todas las actividades de las jornadas entre las 14:00 – 20:00 tendrán lugar en la legendaria Plaza del antiguo ferrocarril. Venga a ver porqué el movimiento de mujeres la rescata como tal.)

14:00 Acto de dignificación “Sobreviví, estoy aquí, y estoy viva” mujeres víctimas y sobrevivientes de violación sexual en el conflicto armado, organiza Actoras de Cambio en el marco del Lanzamiento Regional. Plaza Justo Rufino Barrios en la ciudad en 18 calle y 9ª. Ave. Zona 1

16:30 Concierto CANTARTE, mujeres centroamericanas: Sandra Morán (Guatemala), Ana Carter (Costa Rica) y Karla Lara (Honduras) en el marco del Lanzamiento Regional. Plaza Justo Rufino Barrios.

18:00 Marcha de Faroles en homenaje a todas las mujeres desaparecidas durante el conflicto, organizados por el Colectivo Artesana en el marco del Lanzamiento Regional. Plaza Justo Rufino Barrios.

Stop Violence Against Women Stop Violence Against Women

© 2009 – 2017, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Rudy, while the song you have posted bespeaks of the issue at hand… broadcasting a song that continues to essentially belittle women through its lyrics is hardly a start to transforming the reality. I know the song is meant to raise awareness but the negative message is still being repeated over and over. How about simply abandoning the message all together and posting a song that portrays women as valuable, worthy, equal, strong, valiant… etc…

    Examples:

    Sisters are Doin it for Themselves by Aretha Franklin

    Now there was a time when they used to say
    That behind every great man there had to be a great woman.
    But in these times of change you know that it’s no longer true

    So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen

    ‘Cause there’s something we foryot to say to you
    we say:

    Sisters are doin’ it for themselves

    Standin’ on their own two feet an ringin’ on their own bells.
    Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.

    Now this is a song to celebrate
    The conscious liberation of the female state.
    Mothers
    daughters and their daughters
    too

    Woman to woman
    we’re singing with you.
    The inferior sex has got a new exterior

    We got doctors
    lawyers
    politicians
    too.
    Everybody
    take a look around –
    Can you see
    can you see

    can you see there’s a woman right next to you.
    We say: Sisters are doin’ it for themselves
    . . .

    Now we ain’t makin’ stories and we ain’t layin’ plans

    ‘Cause a man still loves a woman and a woman still loves a man –
    Just the same though –

    Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.
    Now there was a time when they used to say . . .
    Sisters are doin’ it for themselves
    . . .
    Sisters are doin’ it for themselves

    Strength of a Woman by Shaggy

    [Opening]
    Ugh
    Wah
    Ugh
    Ummmmm
    Yo
    SHAGGY
    Ugh
    Yo
    This one goes out to all my women you know
    My strong women, ugh

    [Verse 1]

    So amazing how this world was made
    I wonder if GOD is a woman
    The gift of life astounds me till this day
    I give it up for the woman
    She’s the constant wind that fills my sail
    Oh that woman
    With her smile and her style,my
    She’ll protect like a child
    That’s a woman

    [Chorus]

    She’ll put a smile upon your face
    And take you to that (ah) higher place
    So don’t you under estimate
    The strength of a woman
    The strength of a woman

    [Verse 2]

    Woke up this morning
    I got up with the scent of a woman
    Just picture if you could what life would be
    Ain’t much good without a woman
    She can nag and be a constant pain
    Oh that woman
    But those hips she’s got me whipped
    And it’s just to hard to resist
    What a woman
    Ugh, hey

    [Chorus]

    Tosses in

    Ugh, ugh, ugh

    [Verse 3]

    Tender lips that’s so so sweet
    Gentle words she softly speaks
    Such an angel when we need
    GOD bless the ground beneath her feet
    She can take you on a high
    Be your comfort when you cry
    But if you look into her eyes
    You’ll see the strength of a woman
    Strength of a woman
    Ugh, ugh, ugh

    [Chorus]

    [Fade]

    Strength of a woman

    I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

    First I was afraid
    I was petrified
    Kept thinking I could never live
    without you by my side
    But I spent so many nights
    thinking how you did me wrong
    I grew strong
    I learned how to carry on
    and so you’re back
    from outer space
    I just walked in to find you here
    with that sad look upon your face
    I should have changed my stupid lock
    I should have made you leave your key
    If I had known for just one second
    you’d be back to bother me

    Go on now go walk out the door
    just turn around now
    ’cause you’re not welcome anymore
    weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
    you think I’d crumble
    you think I’d lay down and die
    Oh no, not I
    I will survive
    as long as i know how to love
    I know I will stay alive
    I’ve got all my life to live
    I’ve got all my love to give
    and I’ll survive
    I will survive

    It took all the strength I had
    not to fall apart
    kept trying hard to mend
    the pieces of my broken heart
    and I spent oh so many nights
    just feeling sorry for myself
    I used to cry
    Now I hold my head up high
    and you see me
    somebody new
    I’m not that chained up little person
    still in love with you
    and so you felt like dropping in
    and just expect me to be free
    now I’m saving all my loving
    for someone who’s loving me

    Reflection by Christina Aguilera

    Look at me
    You may think you see
    Who I really am
    But you’ll never know me
    Every day
    It’s as if I play a part
    Now I see
    If I wear a mask
    I can fool the world
    But I cannot fool my heart

    Who is that girl I see
    Staring straight back at me?
    When will my reflection show
    Who I am inside?

    I am now
    In a world where I
    Have to hide my heart
    And what I believe in
    But somehow
    I will show the world
    What’s inside my heart
    And be loved for who I am

    Who is that girl I see
    Staring straight back at me?
    Why is my reflection
    Someone I don’t know?
    Must I pretend that I’m
    Someone else for all time?
    When will my reflection show
    Who I am inside?

    There’s a heart that must be
    Free to fly
    That burns with a need to know
    The reason why

    Why must we all conceal
    What we think, how we feel?
    Must there be a secret me
    I’m forced to hide?
    I won’t pretend that I’m
    Someone else for all time
    When will my reflection show
    Who I am inside?
    When will my reflection show
    Who I am inside?

  • Another good example from Christina Aguilera (feat. Lil Kim): Can’t Hold Us Down

    So-What am i not s’pposed to have an opinion?
    Should i be quiet because i’m a woman?
    Call me a bitch (bitch) cause i speak what’s on my mind
    Guess it’s easier for you to swallow if i sat and smiled

    When a female fires back
    suddenly target don’t know how to act
    So he does what any little boy would do
    Makin’ up a few false rumors or two
    That for sure is not a man to me
    Slanderin’ names for popularity
    It’s sad you only get your fame through controversy
    But now it’s time for me to come and give you more to say

    Chorus:
    This is for my girls all around the world
    Who have come across a man that don’t respect your worth
    Thinkin’ all women should be seen, not heard
    So what do we do girls?
    Shout louder,
    Letting them know we’re gonna stand our ground (our ground)
    So lift your hands high and wave’em proud (wohoh)
    Take a deep breath and say it loud,
    Never can,never will
    Can’t hold us down

    Nobody can hold us down(us down)…Nobody can hold us down(us down)…Nobody can hold us down(hold us down)
    Never can never will…

    So what am i not supposed to say what i’m saying
    Are you offended with the message i’m bringin’
    Call me whatever ’cause your words don’t mean a thing
    Cuz you ain’t even a man enough to handle what i sing
    If you look back in history it’s a common double standard of society
    The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score
    While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore
    I don’t understand why its OK,
    The guy can get away with it while any girl gets named
    All my ladies come together and make a change

    Start a new beginning for us,everybody sing

    Chorus

    Lil’ Kim:
    Here’s something I just can’t understand
    If the guy have three girls then he’s a man
    He can either give her some head, or sex her raw
    If the girl do the same, then she’s a whore
    But the table’s about to turn
    I’ll bet my fame on it
    Cats take my ideas and put their name on it
    It’s aight though, you can’t hold me down
    I got to keep on movin’
    To all my girls with a man who be tryin to mack
    Do it right back to him and let that be that
    You need to let him know that his game is whack
    And Lil’ Kim and Christina Aguilera got your back

    You’re just a little boy,
    Think you’re so cute,so coy
    You must talk so big, to make up for smaller things
    You’re just a little boy
    All you’ll do is annoy
    You must talk so big, to make up for smaller things,
    This is for my girls…

    Repeat Chorus X2

    Ahh Wahoo 7X ahh
    Spread the word
    Can’t hold us down
    Yeh we here
    We Back again
    Yeh Lil Kim and Christina Aguilera
    Yeh
    Can’t hold us down!

  • @Laura, okay, I will switch the song by another beautiful John Lennon’s ode to women. Thanks for pointing it out to me!

  • HIM: Well well… now and forever.
    HER: I will survive.

    I think my conscience was born after finding and reading Ibsen’s “A doll’s house” among my mother’s books.

  • Glennis

    Protect our young ladies from all violence in the home and on the street.

  • Erick

    Rudy, what was the song that was initially posted? Apparently it wasn’t a hit (no pun intended, well, maybe).

  • Erick

    I had never heard that song before, but I liked it, especially after reading the lyrics. I think it describes the reality that perhaps most women have to go through on an every day basis, while at the same time asking people to change their ways/perspective; I don’t think it is meant to intentionally belittle women. But that’s MY two cents.

    Thanks for posting the link; now hope that Laura doesn’t find you (j/k)! =P

  • Actually, I think that first song is a pretty accurate description of the double standard women in Guatemala are forced to live with. I’ve often been bewildered at the contradictory code of conduct and manner of dress imposed upon Guatemalan girls. Then when something happens to them, their victimization is blamed on how they were dressed (as in Killers’ Paradise, where police said that the young lady had a belly ring and was wearing sandals, and therefore was just asking to be killed). That song is true, even if its title is shocking.

    • @Janna, that’s what I thought, but I did not want to have a song that might be offensive to some women, like Laura. 🙁

  • I think perhaps she prefers songs that highlight women’s strength as opposed to ones that expose our exploitation. Both, I think, are important. Exposing the ways in which women are manipulated by society shines a glaring light on all those little, damaging things, things that we might otherwise accept as an inevitable part of life. It’s not pretty, but the more they’re brought to light, the less comfortable society will be in perpetuating them. At the same time, fight songs show that we are strong, and that we can survive & prosper in spite of everything.

  • Janna hit the nail on the head with the comment above 😉

    I agree that awareness should be raised but ultimately I think broadcasting positive messages will produce more positive results than negative messages (even if it is to bring awareness). But, that being said… still needs to be a part of the whole process.

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