“We are women small-scale farmers, beautiful, courageous, part of the struggle”

On 8 March 1908 in New York, a group of women who were fighting for their labour rights and calling for fairer wages were killed in a fire, in the factory where they were working[1].

Today, on 8 March 2019, we are remembering this struggle for fair and dignified labour rights for women.

The Corporation for Humanitarian Action for Peaceful Coexistence in Northeast Antioquia (Corporación de Acción Humanitaria por la Convivencia y la Paz del Nordeste Antioqueño – CAHUCOPANA) has organised its FOURTH GATHERING OF WOMEN SMALL-SCALE FARMERS FROM NORTHEAST ANTIOQUIA. Around 90 women from villages in the Northeast of the department are meeting to work together, reflect and build strategies to enable them to carry out their work with less risk and negative impacts than they are currently facing.

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Peace Brigades International is accompanying this event in the village of Campo Vijao, as part of our work to open up spaces so that human rights organisations can carry out their work with fewer risks.

The defence of human rights in Colombia is dangerous work and is a political commitment. For women human rights defenders, undertaking human rights work is even more complicated. Women suffer negative impacts and are subjected to smear campaigns, added to discrimination and gender-based violence that affects everything they do at the personal, family, political and community levels. Psychological, physical, sexual and patriarchal violence, intersects their daily activism and rights activities, which leads to greater overall impacts on their first territories; their bodies; and on their lives as a whole.

This gathering was a space for reflection, joint learning, developing strategies to confront this violence, and for thinking together about action pathways to enable them to continue their work defending human rights.

Meeting, recognising each other and looking at ourselves through another woman’s eyes allows us to join and build together. Because together we are stronger and we remember that we are not alone, we are all those who preceded us, we are never alone, we are with more than 3000 ancestors, who defended our rights before us, who accompany us and encourage us to continue this work trying to achieve equality of rights and opportunities in society.

Below we present a photo-reportage of this gathering, produced by Bianca Bauer thanks to the support of the German Government’s Civil Peace Service.

Salida a Campo Vijao. PBI acompaña a Cristy (izquierda) de Cahocupana.

Elena Lopez-Maya


[1] La Marea: El origen colectivo del 8 de marzo, 8 March 2016

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