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Women's Day Sparks New Initiatives
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, No.11, 11 March 1997
Guatemala City, March 8. Guatemalan women celebrated International Women's Day with a colorful parade, forums and legal initiatives to combat discrimination against women.
Some 1,200 Guatemalan feminists joined a march today through the city center that included balloons, puppets, giant butterflies and various theatrical acts calling for greater political participation by women.
Earlier, the Women's Legal Action Coalition (COALM) had presented legislators with a package of proposed legal reforms aimed at ending discrimination against women, while the New Guatemala Democratic Front (FDNG) introduced a bill to strengthen rights of indigenous women and children.
The COALM initiative would make law the commitments on women's rights assumed by the government in the December 29 peace accords and in several international conventions.
The bill addresses domestic violence, wage equity, abortion, women's health, pensions, daycare, sexual harassment and labor rights, COALM spokesperson Eugenia Mijangos said.
The third annual Women's Day parade to be organized by the March 8 Coalition saw greater participation by youths and the grassroots movement than in previous years. And Mujeres Somos -- Guatemala's only public lesbian group -- joined the march for the first time.
Yesterday, women militants of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) held a ceremony to remember the women who died fighting in rebel ranks. They also announced their plans to compile biographies of their fallen compatriots.
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