To commemorate International Women’s Day, Guatemalan departments discuss the Risks of Irregular Migration for Women and Girls

5 April, 2019

 

The Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) participated in three departmental forums during the month of March to commemorate International Women’s Day, organized in conjunction with the Puentes Project and World Vision. 

The forums were titled “Risks of Irregular Migration for Women and Girls” and panelists participated from the Program and other organizations such as UN Women, the Office of the Prosecutor for Human Rights, and the Attorney General’s Office.

The activities were held March 18-20 in the departments of San Marcos, Huehuetenango, and Quetzaltenango. Around 300 people attended from various organizations, institutions, government bodies, and civil society in order to share about the experiences of women in migration and the challenges ahead.

During the activity, it was emphasized that almost half of migrants from Guatemala are women, but there is still a lack of knowledge about the risks and challenges women migrants face. The forum therefore originated from the desire to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of irregular migration for women and girls.

Dr. Ana Isabel Garita of UN Women explains that the women who “suffer beginning at the place of origin, are usually women who are structurally abused, individually abused, they suffer violence during transit to their place of destination, and are revictimized when they suffer violence [...] Therefore discussing these issues with local authorities, with social institutions, with academics, with other community entities seems urgent to me because we are talking about humanitarian crises that fundamentally affect women and girls.”

These efforts are part of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, which operates with support from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States.