In May 2017 we held our "outreach" or recognition visit to Nicaragua. We met with 64 organizations to learn about the country's context, the current situation, and available opportunities to advance the rights of diverse groups of women.
We visited the municipalities of: Estelí, Matagalpa, Chinandega, Leon, Masaya, and Puerto Cabezas, together with the organizations and collectives who work on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, the Rights of LBTI+ people, Women's Rights, and a Defense of the Territory.
We saw that participation and decision making spaces are definitely closing for women's and feminist organizations, and rights such as freedom of expression and association are limited. Likewise, the organizations' financial sustainability is in danger, as the current Government has imposed a series of restrictive measures on the International Cooperation agencies.
In relation to women's rights, we identified issues such as: an increase in the number of teenage pregnancies, many of which are related to cases of sexual violence and tend to remain in impunity; this is also connected to the country’s absolute criminalization of abortion. We also heard about cases of feminicide where authorities refused to receive complaints and there is evidence of re-victimization in these cases.
In spite of this context we also witnessed opportunities, such as strengthening networks among the different organizations, the use of communications and advocacy strategies against religious and political fundamentalism, and the organizations' political will to implement protection strategies that contemplate collective care and create sustainability in their movements.
As UAF-LAC we want to thank the women who participated in this visit, the women who opened their organizations doors and their hearts to continue working together.