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Indigenous Honduran Women and Girls Break Barriers to Accessing Justice

INTIBUCÁ, HONDURAS – November 25, 2023. IJM and Centro de Desarrollo Humano (Center for Human Development – CDH) facilitated a forum where 80 indigenous women from Intibucá, a rural region in Honduras, gathered to discuss how women and girls who have suffered violence can overcome the obstacles they face as they seek protection and justice.

The forum, led by IJM and its implemented partner CDH, offered a space where victims and survivors of violence, as well as volunteers came together to identify issues and propose solutions.

The first National Survey Specialized in Violence Against Women and Girls in Honduras -launched in Nov. 2023 – showed that 45.7% of women from rural areas as well as 51.3% women self-identified as indigenous have suffered violence at some point in their life. Providing deeper understanding of the dimension of gender-based violence within the country, Honduran public records show that 3093 women were murdered in 2022.

2023 11 HN CDH Implementing Partner Coordinated Community Response 2023 11 HN CDH Implementing Partner Coordinated Community Response Approved for Full Use

Honduras’ femicide rate is at the top of the list among those of other Latin America and the Caribbean countries. It passes from one generation to another in a self-perpetuating cycle that shatters the innocence of a child, crushes women’s and children’s sense of dignity and purpose in life, and often, it makes people believe that everyday violent behaviour is supposed to be tolerated.

In response to the need of increasing security for Honduran women and children, IJM launched its new project in the country with the support of IJM offices in El Salvador and Guatemala. Through this initiative, IJM is collaborating with the Honduran Public Justice System (PJS) to build capacity to serve victims and survivors of violence.

IJM and its implementing partner CDH are also generating spaces where women can identify obstacles to access justice system institutions and collaborate to create solutions that tackle those barriers. One of these actions is the Community Network, a program that prepares women from Intibucá, known as community guides, to ease the access of victims and survivors of violence to justice and restoration services.

With transparency and resolution, a community guide who participated in the forum shared: “To accompany a woman victim of violence to file a complaint is scary, because as a community guide, you expose yourself to the perpetrator. But that fear is not bigger than the enormous satisfaction of supporting a sister who is suffering violence.” Shared a community guide and participant, Intibucá, Hondura.

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