Erika Rodríguez Gómez is a feminist activist and a defender of Human Rights from Colombia. She is trained as a lawyer and a high school teacher with an emphasis on social sciences. Recently, Erika graduated with a Masters in Human Rights; her dissertation thesis, which obtained honourable mention, was about the feminist social mobilisation in the negotiation and construction of peace in Colombia.
Erika’s research interests focus on social movements, feminism, armed conflict, the construction of peace, transitional justice, historic memory and truth, and violence against women. She has examined these topics as an Investigation Monitor at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional and in her personal investigative projects.
For over ten years, through activism and professional work, Erika has promoted the rights of women and children, especially to prevent sexual violence, forced recruitment and the involvement of children in the armed conflict, with an emphasis on the most deeply affected areas in Colombia. She has experience in legal accompaniment, documentation and investigation of cases of sexual violence in territories where armed actors have been present.
Erika has worked for more than four years as a lawyer at Casa de la Mujer, a non-profit organisation consisting of an inter-disciplinary team of feminist women that promotes the transformation of living conditions for women in Colombia. Our activities include: provision of psychosocial and legal assistance to female victims of violence; empowerment of local organisations of women; and political advocacy. Casa de la Mujer was one of 18 organisations which advised the Sub-Commission on Gender in the Colombian peace negotiations about the incorporation of a gender focus within the final peace agreement.
In addition, Erika is a member of the Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM). She represented CLADEM in the Special Beijing+20 Session, meeting number 51 of the General Committee, at the Women in Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference in Chile in 2014.
Currently, Erika is beginning a project in Colombia with feminist partners called En-Clave de Paz. The project’s aim is to develop actions for the construction of a culture of peace and strengthen democracy during the transitional phase. This will be achieved by empowering diverse populations by sharing knowledge of their rights and the services available to them, as well as providing individual assistance in the form of psychosocial and legal support.