Religion Enslaves, Poverty Enslaves, War Enslaves, Politics Enslave
The writers, creators, and artists that collaborate on ZXORB projects are actively involved in encouraging discussion about women's rights and their fates, working with organizations that promote both justice, relief, and change, educating and actively teaching in our own communities, raising our daughters and granddaughters to be independent and live unafraid and raising sons and grandsons to respect women as their equal humans, as well as working globally to ensure equal rights for women, guarantees of safety for women, changes in policy, creating greater awareness, and offering a helping hand whenever needed. This is the first part in our series, Free Women. Richard Prehn/ZXORB is the creator of all images on this page.
Ghost of Death
Every day women disappear, are bought, sold, kidnapped, tortured, raped, murdered, and left. They are women whose stories never get told, whose life and death struggle never get acknowledged, whose cries and screams go unheard.
“Every time the body of a dead woman appeared, at least four families would come to see whether or not it was their loved one. The problem was much greater than we realized,” recalls Silvia Juárez, Coordinator of the Programme for a Life Free from Violence for Women, of the Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace (ORMUSA, Organización de Mujeres Salvadoreñas por la Paz).
What happened to my mom, my daughter, my friend, my cousin? These are not questions that are asked anymore in Mexico and much of Central America. Everyone knows what happens. No one has any answers. Our government and many of the people in the United States have decided that this is not our problem. That the lives of these women and girls (and of course countless men and boys as well) do not warrant the same value as our own. We have taken a head in the sand approach and vehemently want to "send them back" into a torturous environment that will certainly end in death. We choose not to look at their faces. We choose not to learn their names. We choose to ignore the fact that they love their children as much as we love ours and that the only course of action in an effort to have a better life, or more accurately get out alive, is the same course of action we would take if we were walking with their bare feet. And so they flee. These are refugees, not lawbreakers. These are our sisters, not pieces of trash. These are fellow citizens of our beautiful planet, not a problem to be solved. If we continue to turn a blind eye, pretend that everyone in this world has a fair shot to live free of rape, torture, slavery, murder, hunger, poverty, dirty drinking water, slums, then we are guilty of every death. As humans it is our responsibility to stand up and work together to solve the indignities that people suffer. This is a general statement, however, the fate, and current situation of these women, is not general and we are the ones with blood on our hands. This is our problem as Americans because we created the hell that our sisters (and brothers) now live in.
Mexico's Missing Girls
Missing and Murdered in Border Towns
Read about Gladys Lanza, a Honduran feminist activist, for defending women's rights. ]The verdict is aimed at sending a powerful message to all defenders of women’s rights in the country: “If you don’t want to be prosecuted, stay silent.”