Our pilot study suggests that a multi-modal approach is acceptable, feasible and effective. The small number of psychological interventions in LMICs – with none including indigenous or other marginalized populations of Latin America – limits their generalizability to our population.

  • Each item scores on a scale from one to 4 ; item scores can be summed to provide an estimate of the severity of anxiety and depression symptomatologies.
  • Women are, however, screened for contraindications to the contraceptive methods provided using the Medical Eligibility Criteria.
  • “Complications in pregnancy and childbirth are the second highest cause of death for 15- to 19-year-old girls globally”.
  • More recently, social groups advocating for gender equality in Guatemala helped reform the age at which a girl is able to legally be married.

The United Nations, through its special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, has already expressed its “deep concern” about the current risks for the rule of law in Guatemala. US vice president Kamala Harris showed her support for the rule of law in Guatemala by meeting with several exiled justice operators, including Paz, Aldana and Porras.

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The outcome of the lawsuit could have a big impact on the mining industry in Canada. Canada is home to over 50% of the world’s publicly listed mining companies, and the outcome of the lawsuit – which could take many years – will indicate in what ways companies are legally liable for the actions of their subsidiaries abroad. Campaigners are hoping that this case, and others like it, will provide new avenues to hold multinational companies operating via subsidiaries overseas. That’s true for Griselda Roselina Lastor Mendez, 20, whose husband went to the U.S. in 2014 to look for a job. In accordance with local custom, Lastor Mendez’s in-laws manage the money her husband sends, she says. Traditionally, women whose husbands emigrate live with their in-laws, López says. In Guatemala, women are generally seen as sexual objects, and men are more inclined to sexually harass women whose husbands are not around, López says.

All training activities were carried out in the leaders’ homes, on a rotating basis, as per their preference. The intervention proved feasible and well accepted by circle leaders and participating women. 1-month post-intervention, wellbeing scores (p-value 0.008) and self-care self-efficacy (0.049) scores were higher among intervention compared to control women.

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Neither the mothers nor the leaders were aware of any untoward effects of participation. Several women mentioned that the Circles helped them improve their relationship with their children and other family members, because they learned to better manage their anger and to not make others feel bad by insulting or hitting them. Only in one periurban community did women oppose the sessions on inter-partner violence and reproductive health. Study participants were easily identified based on the defined eligibility criteria. The majority (73%) were selected for living in extreme poverty, 40% for experiencing psychosocial distress, and 3% for having family problems (categories are non-exclusive).

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The cumulative number of activities was used as a continuous variable for analyses. A higher score indicates greater involvement in early infant stimulation activities.

A group rather than individual-focused intervention emerged as the delivery method of choice in our setting, contributing to the accruing evidence from LMICs that group interventions can be effective in improving maternal mental health . Popular education and arts-based methods emerged as particularly powerful tools to facilitate women’s engagement with the stresses present in their daily lives and explorations of a better future. One example the JASS report points out is Perez Molina’s refusal to respect the 55 community consultations held throughout the country in indigenous communities, which overwhelmingly rejected so-called development projects involving mining, oil and hydroelectric dams. According to ILO Convention 169, the international law which Guatemala is a signatory of, indigenous communities must provide free, prior, and informed consent to any projects that would impact their land and communities. Other “failings of the state” include the refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence against activists who challenge the status quo by demanding that their human rights, such as those enshrined under ILO 169, are recognized and honored. Institutional level, it is necessary to strengthen the main mechanisms for women, especially in the implementation of their mandate, coordination with other public offices and monitoring of national policies.

The 2008 law against femicide and other forms of violence against women has enforced people to treat women equally. Women in Guatemala are often uninformed of their rights and do not have the courage to report the crimes committed against them. While Spain may be unable to extradite the accused, international arrest warrants at least prevent them leaving Guatemala. Pressure from Madrid has forced Guatemalan courts to start trying human rights cases from the war. In the meantime, the courage of these women, who face rejection for speaking the truth, will help others who suffer rape as a weapon of war to become more visible. Many victims, such as Sic, were indigenous Mayans, who were caught in the crossfire, accused of collaborating with the guerrillas or targeted simply because their ethnic group became seen as the enemy. More than a decade ago Spain’s national high court, which has a long history of taking on international human rights cases – including pursuing Augusto Pinochet and jailing Argentine military officers involved in death squads – began investigating claims of genocide.

NA assisted in quantitative analyses and data interpretation and in drafting the manuscript. RA co-designed the study, advised in the method of analysis, and revised the manuscript. I used to place much importance on what others said about me, and this made me feel bad or sad. Now I take a bit of time every day to see myself and make myself feel better about who I am and what I know how to do. I now try not to place so much importance on what they say and excuse myself from people who are being offensive. The leaders reported that session delivery took longer than anticipated and suggested reducing content or splitting them into various sessions. Most mothers and leaders suggested holding more frequent productive workshops (i.e. every other week), alternating them with the more theoretical ones.

High illiteracy rates and the fact that they do not speak Spanish makes the justice system limited for them. International organizations like Doctors Without Borders try to fill the gap in Guatemala’s health care and provide assistance to victims of sexual violence. In 2007, Doctors Without Borders opened a clinic in Guatemala City that provides comprehensive care for such victims.

Intervention co-design may be challenging to reproduce in an institutional setting. Mechanisms to effectively support circle leaders to deliver the intervention within their communities need to be further explored. Women’s interest in having more productive activities included in the intervention could be explored as a self-sustaining income-generating mechanism. To monitor the implementation of the recommendations provided by human rights entities, an alliance was established with OHCHR to strengthen the capacities of the Ombudsman Office, and to reinforce the institutional framework of women and civil society. The main cooperation relationships include the Peace Building Fund Department of State and Justice Rapid Response . A systematic review reported perinatal mental disorders were common in low- and lower-middle-income countries , affecting 16% of pregnant women and 20% of women in the postpartum period .

The systemic neglect of the role of traditional culture in health has been described as the single biggest barrier to advancement of the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, especially among marginalized groups . In Guatemala, relations between formal and traditional providers are often tense due to differing approaches to health, a long history of discrimination and devaluation of indigenous knowledge and practices . The overwhelming recourse to comadronas by indigenous women testifies to local cultural norms and preferences and greater trust in traditional practices . Comadronas’ unique contributions to women’s psychosocial health would be worth elucidating further, as would be their ability to transmit resilience factors and endogenous resources rooted in the local context. UN Women Guatemala has established partnerships with several UN agencies, other donors and national and international NGOs.

The pilot demonstrated acceptability, feasibility and potential efficacy to justify a future definitive randomised controlled trial. Co-designed women’s groups provide a safe space where indigenous women can collectively improve their functioning and wellbeing. Apparently murder and gang-rapes linked to Canadian mining projects in Guatemala are not enough to encourage lawmakers Guatemalan women dating in Canada to pass legislation that would hold their country’s companies accountable for these crimes and human rights abuses. Many survivors are adolescent girls, leading to Guatemala having the highest teen pregnancy and preteen pregnancy rates in Latin America. Girls as young as 10 years old are impregnated by rape, and they usually carry these pregnancies to birth.

The majority reported living in economically insecure households (57%); 59% had a stunted lastborn child, and 4% a wasted child. For example, in May, Perez Molina sent the military and police into the town of Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango, declaring a “state of siege” after protests, sparked by the murder of a local community leader in the resistance against a hydro-electric dam, resulted in violence. Perez Molina accused the protestors of being narco-traffickers, and recently accused communities resisting mining and dam projects of being part of a conspiracy involving international organizations and the mob. This parrots the strategy of his former superior Rios Montt, who while president dismissed any criticism of his barbaric “counterinsurgency” as being part of an “international communist conspiracy,” with organizations such as Amnesty International being singled out.