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Sisterhood and Rebels: Femicide and Violence

Nov. 20, 2022

by Irene Fuentes

On the Day of the Dead, Wednesday, November 2nd, Sororas and Rebeldes SMA (Sisterhood and Rebels) placed an offering in San Miguel's Jardín to honor the memory of the victims of femicide. They summoned women and girls from across the city to participate in that assembly. The offering consisted of traditional marigolds (cempasúchil), pink crosses, banners and photographs of the women and girls who were taken from us. Accompanying these were terrifying data on the great wave of violence against women in Mexico, and a statement explaining the reasons for the offering. Local media came to document the action and to interview the participants. Residents and tourists stopped to take pictures and to comment on the scandalous spector of sexist violence.

This was just one of many actions that Sororas and Rebeldes SMA have carried out during 2022. This year, as every year, they organized the march for International Women's Day. They called together a large number of girls and women who participated in the tour, singing feminists slogans and participating n the renaming of streets in honor of notable women in the history and current affairs of Mexico.

Also, they convoked the National Mourning that was held in the month of May. This called on authorities to take responsibility for the victims of sexist violence. A procession was made around the Jardín reciting a prayer adapted to the requests of women for a life free of violence. This activity received wide coverage, not only in the local press, but nationally.

The recognition of Sororas and Rebeldes SMA is such that the collective has been invited to participate in national events. They joined the 2022 Congress of Political Women in Mérida, Yucatan. There reflections were shared with women from feminist collectives from other states, such as Las Brujas del Mar (Witches of the Sea) from Veracruz, This was the group that in 2020 first called for "Un Día Sin Mujeres" (Day without Women).

An ongoing activity of Sororas and Rebeldes SMA is the Women's Reading Club. This club creates a safe space for women to meet weekly, where they comment on, reflect and share their impressions about readings with a feminist perspective, material written exclusively by women. Along the same line, during the Book Festival, organized by the Office of Culture and Traditions, Sororas and Rebeldes SMA organized the 1st Feminist Story Contest, in which women and girls were invited to write biographical stories of women who inspire them. This event had participants not only from San Miguel and the State of Guanajuato, but also from other states of the country.

Sororas y Rebeldes SMA defines itself as a feminist collective in resistance. Firmly following its ideals, it is constantly and diligently working to create and sustain groups, activities, events, and talks, promoting safe spaces for women. Its aim is to provide empowering tools for girls and women of the city to live free of violence, in full enjoyment of their human rights. All their activities are free and carried out without major funding, only the occasional donations from people or organizations who provide materials or spaces to carry out activities.

If you want to support or learn more about this feminist collective, please attend The Great Posada San Miguel de Allende on December 15th. This traditional Christmas event features Mexican food and drinks, live entertainment and lots of fun. The proceeds will be donated to support Sororas y Rebeldes SMA.

Full info and tickets: https://bit.ly/posadasma
https://bit.ly/posadasma

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Irene Fuentes has a bachelor's degree in International Marketing, a master's degree in Social Responsibility, and Special Studies in Equality and Non-Discrimination. She is feminist. She cares for the environment and the animal care causes.

Irene has more than ten years of experience in Marketing, Communication, Advertising, Public Relations, and Social Responsibility, in companies and non-profit organizations. Since 2012, she has focused on developing programs to improve the educational, employability and living conditions of people in vulnerable situations, fundraising campaigns, and procedures to get Social Responsibility badges.

She has advised more than 500 companies and organizations in the adoption of ethical and socially responsible policies and procedures for the protection of children and adolescents and the prevention of violence. She has trained more than 15 thousand people in the prevention of violence against women, violence in the workplace, children exploitation, and human trafficking.

Irene is currently Executive Director of Causas para la Transformación AC, a non-profit organization that seeks to contribute to the full enjoyment of the rights of girls and women. There she manages "Calles con Equidad" (Streets with Equity), a program to make visible the legacies of Mexican women and their contributions to the development of the country through the naming of streets in their honor.

She actively participates in "Sororas y Rebeldes SMA", a feminist activism collective that carries out iconoclastic interventions to make visible the different circumstances that affects women. She is the manager of the music line of "Coyote Urbano", a collective that seeks to help youth through art and music. She also represents Guanajuato State in the group of "Todas MX" (All Woman MX) the national force of political women that seeks to influence legislation to improve the conditions of women in the country.

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