The seemingly ubiquitous #MeToo pronouncements speak to the prevalence of violence against women. Stories of physical and sexual violence perpetrated by men in power appear in the news show after show, and those barely scratch the surface. Perhaps that’s why this November 25 – International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women – held special meaning for me, as it calls both for an end to systemic and personal violence against women, as well as for celebrations of women’s power and resilience.
Earlier this year, two such powerful women shared their stories of struggle, community and resistance to violence, repression and injustice. Miriam Miranda, an Afro-descendant Indigenous woman from Honduras, has experienced kidnapping and death threats as a result of her fierce organizing to protect land and territory rights along the Atlantic cost of Honduras. And Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, herself recently escaping a violent encounter, carries forward the torch of her mother, slain Honduran leader Berta Cáceres, as well as her grandmother and ancestors, in seeking to protect riverways and Mother Earth. The video below features their conversation with Grassroots International’s Solidarity Program Officer for Latin America, Jovanna Garcia Soto, during a standing room only event at NYU in July 2017.
Miriam Miranda is the General Coordinator of Grassroots International partner OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, which organizes Garifuna communities in defense of ancestral territory along the Atlantic coast of Honduras. Bertha Zúniga Cáceres is the General Coordinator of Grassroots International partner COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, an Indigenous Lenca organization defending culture, territory and natural resources. OFRANEH and COPINH together organize as part of a broader movements for land and water rights, climate justice, and the elimination of violence against women and Mother Earth.