Date: 28 October 2020
Across Latin America, women have been front and centre of fighting for the eradication of violence against women and protesting in support of abortion rights on the continent. These groups have mobilised as feminists against a conservative background. International attention has largely paid focus to the collectives that fight for the eradication of violence against women. Less is known, however, about how women use their identities as mothers in collective movements.
This seminar addresses the role of mother’s groups in mobilising against violence – particularly those seeking support and justice for their sons and daughters lost during dictatorships and internal armed conflict in Colombia. In this seminar, Olga Velásquez will present her work on the mobilisation strategy of a group of women in Medellin, Colombia. The group, ‘Mothers of La Candelaria’ was established 20 years ago and is made of a group of women defending the memory of the victims of forced disappearance and homicide during armed conflict in Colombia.
The presentation will be followed by a discussion with Anna Gopsill (PhD candidate in Human Rights at the University of London/CMI). Olga Velásquez’s work focuses on socio-legal studies, law and gender, and transitional justice. She holds a Bachelor in Law from EAFIT University in Medellín and a Master’s Degree in the same area of studies from the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. She has an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Oxford, UK. She has worked as a judicial assistant for the Colombian Constitutional Court and as a legal advisor to the Colombian Ministry of Justice. She has been academic staff at Universidad de Los Andes and at EAFIT University.