FARC-EP: Women and the Final Peace Agreement

Life of women has been traced by historical violence and exclusion that has made them invisible as active participants in the construction of political and social realities. Half of the Colombian population is made up of women that in many cases are doubly harmed in everyday life.
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Rural women in Colombia are more vulnerable due to the structural inequality experienced in the countryside, as they have less possibilities to access land and structural financing plans for the strengthening of agricultural production through training, monitoring and active participation in the construction of territorial and community life plans.

This is why women belonging to the rural social movement are thinking of new ways of participating as a community. Their way of living, dreaming, feeling and harvesting struggles, lead them to weave new paths of unity and articulation to strengthen political action against the historical denial of the possibility of meeting, reinventing and transforming their lives and environments.

The active participation of women as political subjects, not only from historical victimization in the Colombian armed conflict, opened a door in the negotiation process between the FARC-EP and the National Government, promoting the gender approach as the recognition of women as autonomous citizens and legal political subjects. However, after the restructuring of the Final Agreement, the gender approach was converted into the historical “right of equality”, which recognizes men and women as equals, but does not far in the acknowledgement the material equality that, in a country like Colombia, results in the denial of social and political rights to women.

Even so, this constitutes a gained experience despite the enormous setback that this means for the historical struggles of women in Colombia and the world, on the point of Comprehensive Rural Reform, for example, the prioritization is maintained for the implementation in productive systems and land titling to women’s trade associations, entrepreneurship proposals and women’s productive systems.

On the other hand, on the point of Political Participation, it restructures the political contribution of women by recognizing their ethical, political and social capacities in community construction and transforms the quota law to further promote an equitable collaboration between men and women in the consolidation of transforming positions from and to the territories.

In general terms, the Final Agreement continues to call for the active participation of society. Thus, the role of women remains fundamental to social transformation. Their resilience and resistance allows them to organize from the differences, articulate themselves as popular, urban, peasant, afro and indigenous women facing all forms of violence, exalting art, culture, common identity and public action to advance, shoulder to shoulder with the men, in the construction of a dignified country of popular power.

Building itself from popular feminism to understand the integrality of forms of oppression, violence and hegemonic values, allows the social movement to unitarily travel paths of real transformation.

Source: Prensa Rural
Translated by FARC-EP

Feminism is a way of collective struggle

By Veronica Torres, FARC-EP member

Feminism is defined as the ideology advocated by social movements in order for women to have the same rights as men. The definition of this concept has been a topic of debate by many political sectors throughout the world, and it is also one of the main topics of discussion between us, the FARC-EP guerrillas.

As a movement for social transformation that we are, we have a conceptualization based on reality as well as our own and collective constructions, because it is from our history that we understand the different tendencies and social developments.

In this sense, the feminist movement that departs from the conception of class struggle and that is framed in the defense of the rights of women on equal terms as men, is for us not only an inspiration but a guide of necessary transformations in human relations.

We consider feminism as a collective form of struggle that on the basis of the principle of equality recognizes and values the differences amongst people and their own values, which precisely enrich the collective and deserve the same opportunities and possibilities of opinion and decision.

This new way of looking at reality from a women’s perspective is one of the driving forces that is producing more changes in the present century as well as in the system and our social values, achieving little by little policy changes within institutions.

Internally, we have grown in the achievement of our rights and in an insurgent feminism perspective that we want to empower and transmit to Colombian society in our process of reincorporation.

Read in Spanish here