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«Her er vi. Vi lever. Men vi ropar for alle dei vi manglar.»

Whether it’s about making abortions legal, taking action against femicide by close relatives, or ensuring the right of women to move around free from fear: the way towards gender-equality in Colombia is still long.

Thousands of women and men have gathered in downtown Bogota to mark March 8 with punching slogans and clenched fists in a parade stretching for kilometers.

“A no means no. Anything else is a violation.”

“My skirt is not too short, but your education is.”

“I want to go outside without being afraid. Every day, 137 women are killed by family members.”

 

A no means no. Anything else is a violation. / My skirt is not too short, but your education is.

 

 

Bildegalleri frå Bogotá

I want to go outside without being afraid. / Every day, 137 women are killed by family members.

 

While the rest of the world use facial masks to prevent the Coronavirus, these women use it against what they call “the real epidemic”; exaggerated masculinity or “Machismo”.

 

–  We are fighting for our rights:  to decide over our own bodies, to being able to walk around freely, in short; we are fighting for our lives, says Yhoana Milena Castano, Vice President of the Colombian NGO Coordinador Nacional Agrario (CAN). They are marking the International Women’s day with their partner organizations Conavigua from Guatemala, The Norwegian Solidarity Commitee for Latin America, and Brazilian Movimento Sem Terra (MST). They are exchanging personnel with each other in four countries through Norec.

 

–  Our enemies say the fight is over, but we say it has just started, shouts B.onca, who is a participant from MST.

 

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Norec’s partner-organizations LAG, CNA and MST took part in the March 8 parade.

 

 

 

“Abort the Patriarchy”

 

One of the most delicate subjects regarding women is abortion. It is illegal in Colombia, except if pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, if the child is deformed in a way that threatens its life, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

 

On Monday March 2nd, the Supreme court decided not to legalize abortion. This had an impact on the March 8 celebrations in Bogota, where the slogan “Abort Patriarchy” was popular.

 

Another pressing issue is that of femicide-killing of women by close relatives. In 2019, 976 women were killed in Colombia, and for the months of January and February this year, the figure is 44, according to Colombia Reports. 42750 women made reports to the Police about domestic violence last year, and it is highly likely that many don’t report such cases at all, thus meaning that many cases are unrecorded.

 

 

Respect my existence or expect my resistance. / The day I don’t need to tell you that I am home is a good day.

 

 Women’s rights, a focus-area for Norec.

 

As per 2020, Norec supports 13 projects aimed at strengthening women’s rights. They range from combating incest and child marriages to strengthening reproductive rights and gender equality.

 

–  Women’s rights are in our focus. Every day, we are working to promote gender equality, and women’s right to decision-making and access to power by supporting projects and partnerships working to achieve this. We will not stop before we have reached full gender-equality, says Marit Bakken, Norec Director of Programmes.

 

Even though progress has been made, statistics show that gender equality still is far from reached:

 

  • 1 in 3 women have been exposed to sexual violence.
  •  There are three times as many male than female Members of Parliaments worldwide.
  • 7 billion women are restricted by law from work available to men
  • Women make 23 per cent less money than men.
  • 200 million women and girls undergo Female Genital Mutilation, and this number increases every year by 3 million.
  • 56 million abortions are carried out every year, and 25 million of these are deemed unsafe. Every year, 22,000 women die because of unsafe abortions.
  • Every year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage. Today, child-marriages are the chief-obstacle for gender-equality and girls’ education.

 

In Colombia, the parade is nearing its end. This graffiti sums it all up:

«Ninguna decision SOBRE nosotros SIN nosotros.»

“No decisions ABOUT us WITHOUT us. “

 

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No decisions ABOUT us WITHOUT us. / I believe you, my friend.

 

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