Cloc – Via Campesina: Gender-based violence in the rural sector

Inequalities have been marked mainly by economic and political gaps. Gender-based violence in the rural sector, understood as physical, sexual and psychological violence against women, has been addressed as an area of work by organisations since the launch of the campaign against violence against women in 2008, promoted by the women’s organisation La Via Campesina.

Although it is true that psychological and sexual violence is the most common type of violence, one of the most complex elements is how to deal with it because it is difficult for women to break the silence; women keep silent in order not to expose themselves. It is similar to domestic violence.

At the level of La Via Campesina organisations, there have been no studies on the rates of violence in rural areas. However, structural violence, i.e. the criminalisation of the struggle in the region, for example in Central America, is increasingly palpable; some women have been prosecuted in the face of aggression, as is the case in Honduras and Guatemala where families have lost their land and their lives.

In Nicaragua, it could be said that in recent years there has been an increase in violence in the rural sector. For this reason, the organisations have made use of protocols from other organisations, while it is planned that each member country of La Via Campesina will have its own document.

At the level of the articulation of the women of LVC, the gender strategy and a policy to further strengthen the organisation and the gender issue were worked on. In August last year, CLOC-LVC carried out an analysis of the rural environment in the face of the pandemic and an event focused on violence against women. These spaces provided a glimpse of a panorama of violence and marked steps on how to continue addressing this problem in the movement and in society. Meanwhile, a video is being produced as part of the campaign ‘Stop Violence Against Women’, to put a stop to the high rates of femicide in the region.

This article by Yolanda Áreas Blass of ATC Nicaragua is part of the second CLOC-Via Campesina Newsletter of the “Back to the Countryside” campaign.