From Tue Feb 5 08:00:10 2002
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2002 17:03:07 -0600 (CST)
From: NicaNet <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 133995
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Ixchen Celebrates Thirteenth Anniversary

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 4 February 2002

Ixchen, Nicaragua's foremost women's support organization, celebrated its thirteenth anniversary. Founded in the last year of the revolution, 1989, Ixchen has attended to the needs of nearly 2.5 million women to date, and starting with just one small center in Managua, is now present in some nine cities throughout the Pacific side of the country (the one clinic on the Atlantic Coast had to be closed for lack of funds.) The Ixchen teams of professionals specialize in women's health, particularly sexual, reproductive, and psychological, and offer legal assistance of all kinds, with an especial emphasis on intra-family violence.

Director Dr. Marma Marvis Jirsn explained that what set Ixchen apart was the organization's commitment to women of scarce resources, which ensured that they would receive constant care over periods of years rather than the fragmented attention offered by others. We make a special point of working with the police stations for women and children, the procurator for justice, and the organizations of civil society, she continued. Our primary success has been to be recognized as a group that promotes women's rights in an integrated manner. However, as such, we're really concerned right now by the staggering increase in violence against women; 2001 showed a 300% rise over 2000, due, perhaps in part, to women losing their fear to report aggression against them, but clearly signaling a dramatic upward leap.

According to Ixchen statistics, the government health ministry MINSA, reaches a bare 11% of the population, a frightening reality that lays a heavy burden on all grassroots health organizations. Beyond this, Dr. Jirsn averred, this new government hasn't even begun to incorporate the discourse of women's rights into the State, in effect treating their specific necessities as invisible, despite women being 50.1% of the population.