WILPF’s Section in Colombia, LIMPAL Colombia has recently released the report titled Sintonías corporales (Bodily Harmonies), which looks at the mental health and psychosocial issues of women human rights leaders in Colombia.
Women human rights defenders continue to be targeted and murdered in Colombia. In particular, people who stand up for women’s rights, small farmers, or Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations find themselves in great danger. This indisputably places a huge burden on their mental health.
The report Sintonías corporales uses resolution 1325, adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2000, as a framework. The resolution calls on UN member states, particularly parties in conflict, to protect women’s rights and ensure their active participation in peace negotiations, conflict settlement and reconstruction.
The report is divided into an introduction, two chapters, and a conclusion. It is based on information from semi-structured interviews with seven women leaders in human rights organisations from four cities and one community throughout Colombia. The aim was twofold: establish the extent to which they have faith in resolution 1325, and identify the psychosocial issues or disorders that these women experience as a result of a specific violation of their rights, or during their work as a whole.
In summary, the report Sintonías corporales provides a unique and comprehensive qualitative analysis of the psychosocial issues and coping strategies that women human rights defenders’ face, using the resolution 1325 standards as a framework. Based on the analysis, recommendations were made for further action and a psychosocial accompaniment for women in leadership positions. This forms an important foundation for further research in the field of women’s rights as well as psychological care and support for women as victims in crisis areas.
LIMPAL Colombia joined WILPF in 1998 as a Section.