“When we lived with my husband, I was always afraid. All of that is behind us now and I can continue fighting and working, and now I am happier than ever before.” Claudia, WJI Participant
Last year, Claudia completed our Women’s Rights Education Program (WREP), a six-month empowerment course that educates women to understand and protect their rights. Before she began training with WJI, she did not understand the meaning of the word “violence.” She did not know that her husband abusing her was wrong.
“Since I didn’t know about the laws and what they meant, I put up with everything he did to me. …There are definitely many women that are living in the same situation as me and can’t do anything because they don’t have this knowledge.”
WJI trains women in weekly workshops on issues that affect them, including property rights, inheritance, and domestic violence. Although these issues are difficult, the program helps women tackle these difficulties and improve their lives.
After participating in the first workshops, Claudia found the courage to talk to one of our lawyers and take legal action. Claudia received legal services in Kaqchikel thanks to WJI’s lawyer and was granted a restraining order against her husband. WJI helped her enforce it so that she could protect herself and her children. Now Claudia and her children feel safe in their home and supported by WJI’s team and other WREP graduates.
“Thanks to WJI, I could initiate the process, but without their support I would not have done anything.”
We are inspired by women like Claudia and her fellow Program graduates who bravely commit to building better futures for themselves and their families.
And on behalf of the team, thank you for empowering Mayan women and girls to break the cycle of violence and inequality in rural Guatemala. Our work would not be possible without you.