When I think about what comes ahead in Colombia, it would be easy to assume the “official” language and respond “I know we have to build a new society including a new life for women and girls, I know that Colombia is a post-conflict country.”
But I am not a very official person and I think “official” language is too optimistic and politically correct. I think of the future of the women’s movement in the context of the implementation of peace agreements with the FARC, the peace talks with the ELN and the transformation of a society that has lived this war for more than half a century and has had so much violence since it was conquered and became independent.
I am sure I have had more optimistic moments, but I think the violence and disappointment that has come after them has taught me that I have to be a realistic activist. This is not because I have no dreams, but because I have to recognize the steps and obstacles present to fulfill those dreams.
So what comes ahead? Women’s movements must be attentive and active in the implementation of peace agreements, in the peace talks with the ELN, in accompanying communities that are returning to their lands. But mostly I think it should be a time for healing. Healing women’s pains and burnouts and learning as a movement to have more healthy ways to construct activisms, to be human rights defenders who assume that day to day life is as important as global agendas.
It is good to celebrate peace, but it is quite difficult to live it, to build it, but mostly to recognize that it is a long path. In this long path we will need the support of all the women around the world that have had eyes on Colombia.
The disarmament of the FARC was just a baby step — Colombia still needs company to learn how to walk.