Women Crossing the Line - August 2012

, Malawi

Hope Chigudu and the JASS Southern Africa team gathered Malawian women's stories to give a glimpse of work on the ground in Malawi, the shifts that the women have made to change their lives and the dilemma of monitoring and evaluating the shifts. This series of stories demonstrates that there are parallels and connections, and points of intersection between the oppression of HIV+ women in Malawi, and social and cultural expectation and poverty.  These elements actually overlap and reinforce each other. The failure of the male to live up to the societal and family expectations and the recognition of his own failure is a potentially powerful basis for violence.
Daysi Flores
, Honduras

I sold my first pair of sandals when I was five years old. I was raised on the streets of the city market in Tegucigalpa and I attended school far from my home but only a few blocks away from my refuge – the busy market stalls with their constant noise and rush of people. It was not an easy life, and I was shaped forever by school and the marketplace. The only stability in my life was the instability: I lived in different places to escape the problems my father exposed me to when he abandoned me. However, I was not alone, I was never alone.
Marusia López Cruz
, Mexico

I come from a militant leftist family that always spoke about equality between men and women, although, like many leftist families, we faced challenges when combining theory and practice. These contradictions in my family and later in development and human rights organizations, showed me that equality is not a given – instead, it must be built, which isn’t easy in such a deeply machista society.