By Mercy Associate Maritza Isabel Paredes Gomez, Honduras
We do not accept, therefore, that the preparation of women to guide the home, model the soul of the offspring, and be responsible for domestic life, is enough to fulfill the aspirations of a spirit eager for self-improvement…Nor do we agree that the granting of political rights detracts from the 'prestige, respect and lordship' of women.
OLIMPIA VARELA Y VARELA, “IN DEFENSE OF OUR IDEALS.” FROM: RINA VILLARS, PARA LA CASA MÁS QUE PARA EL MUNDO: SUFRAGISMO Y FEMINISMO EN LA HISTORIA DE HONDURAS [FOR THE HOUSE RATHER THAN FOR THE WORLD: SUFFRAGISM AND FEMINISM IN THE HISTORY OF HONDURAS], GUAYMURAS, TEGUCIGALPA, 2001.
In January we always remember the women suffragists who, under adverse conditions, dared to raise their voices so that Honduran women could enjoy the right to vote—an important step, but not the last for the recognition of full citizenship.
Today it is even more pertinent to commemorate this feat because, for the first time in the history of Honduras, the citizens voted for a woman to assume the presidency of the Republic. But not only that: Xiomara Castro is the candidate who has obtained the most votes in the country’s political history, which gives her a high degree of legitimacy.
She gained the confidence of the people based on her performance after the 2009 coup d’état, and because she represented the possibility of breaking with the continuity of the National Party, whose legacy is a country in debt, damaged by corruption and links with drug trafficking, with high rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment.
Hopeful winds are blowing is the general comment and, undoubtedly, the social movements, as well as the people who emigrate every day, expect a lot from it. But there is also awareness that the problems and interests at stake are many, and that Mrs. Xiomara does not have a magic wand to satisfy all expectations. It is the citizens, with their proposals and actions, who are called upon to defend their right to live in justice and equity, with the guarantee of sustainable changes.
The challenge for Mrs. Xiomara is to surround herself with capable and honest people who, in a thoughtful and intelligent manner and stripped of intolerance, contribute to the solution of the main problems, understanding that the agenda must include the entire nation, and must be impregnated with respect for the human rights of a population tired of promises and living in precarious conditions.