Nicaraguan Women Demand Their Rights In Face of Rampant Sexual Violence

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By Tarah Demant, Women’s Human Rights Group

Obeygiant.com/Shepard Fairey for Amnesty International

Women and girls in Nicaragua are at risk.

In its most recent global report, Amnesty International reported on the high rates of violence against women and girls in Nicaragua, especially rape and sexual violence.  Such violence is rooted in a global culture of discrimination, which systematically devalues the lives, rights, and voices of women.

In Nicaragua, girls are especially vulnerable to rape and sexual violence.  Two thirds of rape victims are under 18, and the most common cases are for girls between the ages of 13 and 15.

Most young survivors of rape get little or no government support to rebuild their lives. The government has so far failed to fulfill its duty to prevent sexual abuse and provide care and support to survivors.

These devastating acts of sexual violence and rape are part of a broader trend of the devaluation of women and girls in Nicaragua.  Since 2008, the government has enforced a total abortion ban, criminalizing abortion in all circumstances; there are no exceptions for rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk. For some women and girls made pregnant by rape, the idea of giving birth is unbearable.  But in Nicaragua, women don’t have a choice.

Survivors of rape and sexual abuse must be free to make their own decisions about how to manage the consequences of rape and begin to rebuild their lives. Rape must not be the event that defines the rest of their lives.

The government’s refusal to lift the total abortion ban, its refusal to increase steps to prevent sexual abuse and rape of women and girls, and its refusal to provide adequate care and support to survivors is a failure to ensure women and girl’s freedom from violence, freedom of autonomy, and freedom from discrimination, and it violates their fundamental human rights.  It represents a fundamental refusal to listen to the voices of women and girls.

In Nicaragua, those who speak out against such discrimination are at risk: women human rights defenders in Nicaragua working to promote women’s rights and sexual and reproductive rights have been increasingly harassed by officials, showing the government’s refusal to hear the voices of women and girls.

Yet, despite these obstacles and risks of violence, the women of Nicaragua will not allow such violence and discrimination to silence them, and they are demanding their voices be heard.

Women and girls march in Nicaragua on September 28 to demand the repeal of the total abortion ban and an end to violence against women and girls.  You can join them by sending a message of solidarity through the online butterfly action.

As Martha Mangúi, Executive Coordinator of the Nicaraguan Alliance of women’s Centers, explained:

“The butterfly for us is a symbol of the desire to realize our dreams, spread our wings… fighting with strength for our rights.”

Together, we can help Nicaraguan women realize their dreams of freedom from violence and their full human rights!

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13 thoughts on “Nicaraguan Women Demand Their Rights In Face of Rampant Sexual Violence

  1. Amnesty International have reported this type of inhumane treatment of women first with Guatemala and then now Nicaragua. With the near locality to USA, how come USA does not assist in pressuring this government as they did with Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Where is also the UN to create some form of an embargo to nations that abuses the rights of women.

    I think Amnesty International should focus their lobbying to USA and UN. It must be to influence Nicaragua and Guatemala to change this discriminating treatment of women culture in their countries or face financial embargo of private official assets outside their countries.

  2. Any culture that that allows violence toward children and women should be condemned by all other countries who have laws protecting women against such horrors. Women throughout the world should be able to live without any fear of being abused in any way and have a choice of abortion when needed. In this day and age it's atrocious it is still going on and I fully agree that these countries should face consequences, as suggested by Amnesty International

  3. I am Nicaraguan, raised in Nicaragua, there is rape, prostitution, and domestic violence everywhere, even in the united states of America. The only difference between third world countries and the U.S is that we don't have a strong government. So don't just say that good for them for stand up and go do something like helping. Don't feel pity, instead help.

    • Zuley,

      I am a student at the University of Utah and have a strong interest in women's issues around the world. I read your blog and it spoke to my soul and I have a strong desire to learn and understand more about your country and what are some ways that people can help. You can email me at wendy.sorensen@utah.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Wendy

  4. Amnesty International have reported this type of inhumane treatment of women first with Guatemala and then now Nicaragua. With the near locality to USA, how come USA does not assist in pressuring this government as they did with Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Where is also the UN to create some form of an embargo to nations that abuses the rights of women.

    I think Amnesty International should focus their lobbying to USA and UN. It must be to influence Nicaragua and Guatemala to change this discriminating treatment of women culture in their countries or face financial embargo of private official assets outside their countries.

  5. Zuley, I am writing in the comfort of Australia but I do not pity third world issues but really do my personal initiative in doing something about it. I do the walk rather than talk however I am not Bill Gates. I am currently involved in the Philippines and I know how hard it is to make in roads and my thought are with you Zuley. Nothing upsets me more than abuse to children, women and the elderly.

    With your statement not to feel pity as you need help, the only idea I can get some satisfaction is to write to your government and abuse them as they ignore women's welfare. The most despicable crime of all, to be in government and have this sexual abuses unabated. They are behaving like pimps offering their women for abuse. That is who they are.

    If anyone in Amnesty international read this, can anyone help me with email addresses for UN Secretary General, White House contact and Nicaraguan President. It would help me from the feeling of pity to a positive action for Zuley.

    Zuley my email address is tbelzunce @yahoo.com.au and feel free to contact me as an international caring friend.

  6. Any culture that that allows violence toward children and women should be condemned by all other countries who have laws protecting women against such horrors. Women throughout the world should be able to live without any fear of being abused in any way and have a choice of abortion when needed. In this day and age it’s atrocious it is still going on and I fully agree that these countries should face consequences, as suggested by Amnesty International

  7. I am Nicaraguan, raised in Nicaragua, there is rape, prostitution, and domestic violence everywhere, even in the united states of America. The only difference between third world countries and the U.S is that we don’t have a strong government. So don’t just say that good for them for stand up and go do something like helping. Don’t feel pity, instead help.

  8. Zuley, I am writing in the comfort of Australia but I do not pity third world issues but really do my personal initiative in doing something about it. I do the walk rather than talk however I am not Bill Gates. I am currently involved in the Philippines and I know how hard it is to make in roads and my thought are with you Zuley. Nothing upsets me more than abuse to children, women and the elderly.

    With your statement not to feel pity as you need help, the only idea I can get some satisfaction is to write to your government and abuse them as they ignore women’s welfare. The most despicable crime of all, to be in government and have this sexual abuses unabated. They are behaving like pimps offering their women for abuse. That is who they are.

    If anyone in Amnesty international read this, can anyone help me with email addresses for UN Secretary General, White House contact and Nicaraguan President. It would help me from the feeling of pity to a positive action for Zuley.

    Zuley my email address is tbelzunce @yahoo.com.au and feel free to contact me as an international caring friend.

  9. Man must learn to control their own sexual needs. It is NOT alright for human to behave like an animal.
    Respect the woman and her right to say NO.
    If you can not control your own sexual needs, then you are sick in your head and should get help from doctors, psychologist or other mind helpers.

  10. Man must learn to control their own sexual needs. It is NOT alright for human to behave like an animal.
    Respect the woman and her right to say NO.
    If you can not control your own sexual needs, then you are sick in your head and should get help from doctors, psychologist or other mind helpers.