Feminists in Colombia have led a long struggle for human rights, centred on ideals of recognition and redistribution for women in economic, political and cultural domains. They have also acted as peace-builders. In the last peace process between the FARC-EP and government of Juan Manuel Santos, feminists successfully advocated for the creation a Gender Sub-Commission and were ultimately responsible for the inclusion of a gender perspective into the Final Agreement signed in November 2016.
Despite the fact that feminism is a significant force in the country, in the referendum of October 2016 citizens voted to refuse a peace deal because of reasons related to the gender approach, among others. What were the causes and consequences of this? What challenges do women face during Colombia's transitional phase?
In this event, Erika Rodríguez Gómez will talk about her experience as a human rights defender and will share her reflections about the current situation in Colombia.
About the speaker
Erika Rodríguez Gómez is a feminist activist and human rights defender from Colombia. For over ten years she 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. 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.
Read more about Erika's work: From suffrage to insurgency, female rebelliousness has always been crucial to peace in Colombia | LSE Latin America and the Caribbean blog
Lisa Gormley is a Research Officer at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. From 2000 to 2014 she served as a legal adviser at Amnesty International's International Secretariat, mostly specialising in women's rights in international law. During this time, she participated in the negotiation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in 2002, and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which was adopted in 2011.
Watch the video recording of this event.