Women against violence : Breaking the silence : Reflecting on experience in Latin America and the Caribbean
Violence against women is a major social problem, one that reflects the particularities of class, racial, and gender dynamics in different countries. Once only a private affair, it is now recognized as a major obstacle to development, because of the many ways in which it retards women's full and equal participation in their societies. This shift in awareness has come about largely because of the courage and determination of hundreds of women, previously invisible, who have dared to break the silence. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, women are speaking out about the many kinds of violence in their lives. And in country after country, they are taking steps to end it. The articles in this booklet locate violence against women in the different contexts of Latin American and Caribbean countries, documenting its nature and extent, efforts to combat it, and the need to penetrate the underlying social and cultural attitudes toward women and women's roles that allow it to continue. The projects they describe range from analysis of the ways in which women and women's rights are conceptualized in national laws and legal codes to reflections on the experience of working with women victims of violence in different countries. All represent strategic interventions by UNIFEM to enable women to participate fully in society and development. They reflect UNIFEM's role as an ally of the women's movement and a facilitator in the effort to eliminate gender-based violence.