Women suffer police repression on International Women’s Day

Posted on March 9, 2010


Women of the resistance

Women of the resistance

A peaceful activity was taking place today, March 8, to mark International Women’s Day by the Feminists of the Resistance when it was repressed by authorities with the intention of disrupting the event at the National Congress and ironically, by the Women’s National Institute, INAM.

According to INAM’s mission, “One of the fundamental pillars of the state in regards to the inclusion of women is to improve their quality of life and promoting respect for human rights, in harmony with other participative and democratic social actors. We are an institution responsible for formulating, developing, promoting, coordinating and following up on the policies that guarantee and protect the rights and gender equity of women, adolescents and girls, to contribute towards the sustainable human development of the country.”

But the authorities of that institution, under Minister Maria Antonieta Boto, named by Porfirio Lobo Sosa’s government, forgot their responsibilities and ordered the police and military to evict the Feminists of the Resistance from the National Congress proximity.

The activities began at 9 am but when the women were trying to mount several spaces to show how women have been active with the resistance against the coup, the police and military were sent by National Congress to prevent them from doing so. However, the women did not allow their rights to be violated.

In what seemed a boycott of women’s organizations, INAM decided to have an event in the same place even though the Feminists of the Resistance had disseminated widely their peaceful event at that location. This act worsened the distrust that has been generated for Boto, whose abilities to fill the post of minister have been questioned.

After midday, orders were again given against the women. “We were having our event on La Merced plaza, when they cut off the power because the INAM was going to have their event at the National Congress. We were able to get the power back on the stand and they shut down the power again. We went over to the INAM minister and told her to gives us power but what they did instead was send the police after us with batons and weapons who beat some of the women and took away our signs,” said a witness of the police repression.

The women were forced out by the police, which has played a main role in the mistreatment of women since the coup d’etat.

Regina Fonseca, from the Women’s Rights Center, CDM, said that this is a very important week for the international feminist movement, not only for Honduran women, but women from other Latin American countries who have come to support them.

Some activities included a stand with information about the resistance, a street vendor in honor of all the women vendors who have been with the resistance, as well as a gathering of women against militarization, a video about religious fundamentalists, the ones in favor of the coup, and a concert at the Manuel Bonilla Theater.

Fonseca said that they are in resistance against the oligarchy that has taken over this country, that’s why the women are fighting for the refoundation of a state where all women are welcome. “Us women were the first ones to come out to the streets during the coup because we couldn’t stand an attack to the fragility of our democracy.”

Sara Tomé, in charge of the Legal Center of Women’s Studies, CEM-H said that “before the coup we had made some important conquests, but after the coup it all came down. We lost INAM, the domestic violence courts and other entities. That work fell through.”

Women from Argentina, Italy, Cuba, among others, came to the event. Claudia Corol, member of the Inconvenient Feminists of Argentina, who said they were in solidarity with the Honduran people since the coup. “We’ve had a really tough experience in regards to dictatorships and that’s why we immediately decided to respond, as inconvenient feminists, so that there are no more coup d’etats in our continent.”

Next weekend the Feminists of the Resistance will be in La Esperanza, Intibuca, where they will participate in a three-day event to discuss the Constituent National Assembly, together with about a thousand attendees.

SOURCE: Defensores en línea

ALSO SEE: Cobertura del 8 de marzo por Radio Liberada