Widows, Mothers, Activists: Indigenous Achí Women’s Experiences of La Violencia in Rabinal, Guatemala


Dorion, Fabienne. 2010. “Widows, Mothers, Activists: Indigenous Achí Women’s Experiences of La Violencia in Rabinal, Guatemala.” Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement 1 (1): 77-90.

Author: Fabienne Dorion


This paper explores Indigenous Achí women’s experiences of militarisation and armed conflict in Rabinal, Guatemala during the period known as La Violencia (1978-1985) and its aftermath. The aim of this paper is to challenge accounts of armed conflict that portray women as essentially passive victims of violence by examining widows’ resiliency in ensuring their own and their family’s survival after the loss of their husband and their agency in organising around issues of truth, justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of the conflict. The discussion is especially focused on the influence that women’s role as mothers has had in shaping their experiences of the aftermath of armed conflict, as recounted in participant-led interviews with survivors of La Violencia. Interviews were conducted in rural Rabinal communities between December 2005 and May 2006 in the context of Master’s thesis research and fieldwork with the Association for the Integral Development of the Victims of the Violence in the Verapaces, Maya Achí (adivima).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Indigenous, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2010

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.