Xiomara Castro became Honduras’ 56th president and officially took office on January 27, 2022. She is Honduras’ first female president and now she is expected to tackle issues related to women and children. A petition posted on the AVAAZ website has recently described Honduras as a hell for women. It says that g*irls, 12 years of age are forced to keep pregnancies resulting from rape, while hundreds are abused each year.* With Castro’s victory at the polls, it is expected that things will change. In an effort to push for that change, the petition is calling for Castro to revoke the country’s ban on *access to emergency contraceptives*, a medicine used globally to aid girls, teenagers, and women bearing rape pregnancies. The issue is not unique to Honduras as rape pregnancies have been recorded throughout the region. Signing the petition was Attorney/Activist, Audrey Matura who says that it is important to support these changes as it is a regional concern.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “When I saw that petition in Honduras the reason I supported it was because it struck a chord with me here in Belize because ironically it says that that’s a problem throughout Central America like Latin America but sometimes Belize is not included in Latin America and when I saw it and I said well if I can’t have a petition similar to that in Belize I will at least have a petition for a country close to Belize on an issue which requires international recognition and discussion. Then there’s the issue that we now have a female president in Honduras for the first time and we tend to want to believe that because she is a female she will automatically do things to help women but that’s not necessarily so. So joining the petition is my way of trying to push the issue with the hope that it will be addressed in Honduras and the issue being the violation of many rights of women especially their reproductive rights and the cases I mean the incessant cases of incest and rape in Honduras and throughout this region even in Belize but these are issues that are swept under the carpet so that’s why I shared the petition I hope other people sign it but I also hope that it’s used as an opportunity to learn as to what’s happening in Belize as well.”
The petition has gone international and is now being signed by persons from around the world.