“For Our Land, For Our People, We Defend Women’s Rights” - Towards Consolidation Of The Women’s Group Within The Frente De Pueblos En Defensa De La Tierra De San Salvador Atenco
AWID 2009 Seed Grant Winner: Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvado Atenco, Mexico
Final Project Report.
The implementation of this project has been delayed to the end of August 2011, as the women of the grassroots organization Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvador Atenco have been heavily immersed in the struggle to liberate family and community members who had been political prisoners since 2006.
Members of the women’s group who attended AWID’s “Power of Movements” Forum shared their experience in a popular assembly with community members, and also announced approval of the Seed Grant project. There was a very positive reaction as women’s leadership has been recognized as an important factor in the campaign to free the political prisoners. However as the same women became immersed in this national and international campaign, and also had to work to maintain their families, they were not able to implement the project activities. The women have committed to undertake the project’s leadership workshops and radio programs that are part of this Seed Grant as the goal of strengthening the ability of the women of San Salvador Atenco to continue defending women’s rights within the larger struggle for land and justice remains paramount.
From 2008 onward the key focus of the women has been to work for the liberation of their political prisoners. This led them to the Supreme Court of Justice, the last step in their arduous legal battle. Fortunately the Supreme Court emitted a favourable decision and the prisoners were freed. This signifies a huge triumph, not only for the people of Atenco, but also for social movements throughout Mexico, as it sets a historic legal precedent.
This aim of this project is to strengthen the consolidation of the Women's Group of Atenco through training in advocacy for women's rights from a feminist perspective and to enhance dissemination of these rights and women's struggle among the people of San Salvador Atenco.
This project will ensure that:
- Twenty women members of the Women’s Group of Atenco are trained in the advocacy of women’s human rights from a feminist perspective.
- Four information spots on the rights of the women from Atenco are broadcast in a radio slot that the University of Chapingo has donated to the Front.
- Planned actions for women’s rights are incorporated into the Front’s agenda
- Production, with CIMAC's (Comunicacióne Información de la Mujer) advice, of four radio spots on women’s rights in Atenco that will to be broadcast in the radio slot donated to the Front by the University of Chapingo.
- Organization of a Front assembly having as its main issue the rights of women and the strategies that the Front can develop in order to advocate for such rights.
Project Activities and Outputs
Though the women’s group of the Front, was not able to implement the Seed Grant project activities at the time of this report, they still worked on strengthening their organization within the broader struggle to defend their land and free the Atenco political prisoners. In particular, over the past three years members of the women’s group were very busy organizing and participating as social and women’s rights in activities including public rallies, forums, conferences; meetings with Mexican state authorities, Medial relations and press conferences, cultural activities, weekly meetings of the Front and daily visits to visit the prisoners.
Members of the women’s group have shared some thoughts with AWID on their experience:
“This experience transformed the vision we had of women, within our movement, our families and our community as a whole. More value is being given now to our contribution. We are recognized as leaders in our own right, equal to our spouses, and this has brought a new arrangement to share domestic chores within our family. Overall, this transformation fostered a greater exercise of our rights, above all political and citizenship rights.
AWID lends its solidarity to the women and people of San Salvador Atenco and eagerly awaits their final report relating their Seed Grant project experience.