May
31
2018

Journey for the dignification of women from El Arenillo, Los Pinos and La Ruiza

"In this community, women are usually afraid to speak, which means that they do not take us into account. This day was very fruitful because many of those silent women gave their battle cry and that was great ": Vera María Peña, leader of Los Pinos.

A special day where dignity actions were developed for women of Arenillo, Los Pinos and La Ruiza, all rural towns in Pradera municipality, took place yesterday in Caseta San Martín, El Arenillo.

Nearly 40 women from these localities, who make up one of the subjects of collective reparation in Valle del Cauca, participated in a film forum and a workshop aimed at preventing gender-based violence against women, promoting their rights and awareness of acts of violence that they were subjected to in this region in the middle of the conflict.

"These events are important because they are a space for socialization. In this community, women usually have a fear of speaking and expressing what we feel, which means that they do not take us into account. This day was very fruitful because many of those silent women gave their battle cry and that was great", said Vera María Peña, from Los Pinos.

This leader also said that the role of women in the recovery of regions like this is essential: "we have a large number of women who, after being widowed in the conflict, now they bring their children crops, and homes. They contribute a great deal to the reconstruction of our society".

Arenillo, Ruiza and Pinos constitute a subject of collective reparation that suffered for almost five years confinement by self-defense groups that took control of the territory, sexual violence against their women being one of the most cruel and recurrent crimes.

Fabiola Perdomo Estrada, territorial director of Valle del Cauca Victims Unit, said that "in the reconstruction of social ties and organizational capacity of communities affected by the conflict, women are the cornerstone. In particular, many of the women who suffered crimes against integrity and sexual freedom are today an example of resistance, they have managed to survive not only the conflict but also the stigmatization and now they are empowered and proactive leaders".