Mí Cuerpo Es Mío: Women’s Rights in Colombia
Posted by Siobhan Riordan at May 26th, 2011
“No del estado, ni de la iglesia,
Mí cuerpo es mío, mío, yo decido.”
(“Not the State’s, nor the Church’s,
My body is mine all mine, I decide.”)
– activist chant during pro-choice demonstration in Medellín
Photo: Pro-choice activists “flash” the public with their demands: Aborto Gratuito, Libre, Seguro, Legal. (Free, Open, Safe and Legal Abortion.)
Medellín, Colombia – A woman in Colombia may seek a legal abortion only if she finds herself in one of three specific situations: (1) if she becomes pregnant as a result of violation, (2) if the pregnancy puts her life or health in danger, or (3) if the fetus is known to have a fatal malformation. (Sentencia C355/06 Corte Constitucional.) The punishment for a woman who has an illegal abortion is up to 3 years in prison and the punishment for a doctor or other person who performs the procedure illegally (even if medically licensed to do so) is also up to 3 years. Under Colombian law, women do not have the right to choose. This fact, as well as the general status of women in Colombia’s patriarchal society, is something that the feminist activists of La Red Juvenil in Medellín are up in arms to change.
A subset of activsts at La Red Juvenil, a youth network, are dedicated to women’s issues and organize events focused on rights awareness and public activist demonstrations. Their aim is to widen the dialogue about women’s issues, to educate, and to empower those in accord to act. The group itself meets twice a month to read and analyze texts on feminist theory, discuss new projects and strategies, and to support each other in their collective effort to support their fellow female citizens.
Photos: JusticeMaker Adriana (pictured center, wearing white shirt) sings and dances with pro-choice feminist activists outside the Procuraduría Regional de Antioquia (Regional Attorney General’s Office, Antioquia) in Medellín during a public demonstration.
Photos: Isabel (pictured far left, both images), an activist with La Red Juvenil, speaks one-on-one with women and mothers from Barrio Llanadas about spousal abuse, maltreatment and sexual violation using personal questionnaires designed to demonstrate how women’s rights are directly applicable to their lives. Rights awareness event organized by La Red Juvenil focused on educating women and schoolchildren about non-violence.
Photos: JusticeMaker Adriana (pictured left, center) and activists from La Red Juvenil attend an open seminar on women’s rights in the context of globalization and the capitalist system.
Photos: SiobhanRiordan.com / IBJ