Advertisement

Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 216–228 | Cite as

Domestic Violence, Human Rights, and Postcolonial Intersectionality of Afro-descendent and Indigenous Women in Cuba and Guatemala

  • Dorlisa J. MinnickEmail author
  • Patricia O’Brien
Article

Abstract

Violence against women, including domestic violence or intimate partner violence, is a violation of human rights. As such, ending violence against women is embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of achieving gender equality and empowerment. This article gives voice to the intersection of race/ethnicity, class, geography, and gender in describing systemic and institutional power used to subjugate and isolate women experiencing domestic violence via examples from an Afro-Cuban woman and two Guatemalan indigenous women’s experiences with domestic violence. The United Nations has adopted resolutions that offer direction to social work in eliminating domestic violence. Social workers in the Global North must understand neoliberal policy and its impact on globalization processes in the Global South as they work to demand an end to intimate partner violence. Advocacy on behalf of domestic violence survivors then should be based on a human rights framework with postcolonial intersectional feminist theory to contextualize the experiences of women of color in Cuba and Guatemala.

Keywords

Domestic violence against women Postcolonial intersectionality Afro-descendent Indigenous Cuba Guatemala 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the reviewers on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

References

  1. A globe redrawn: after the Soviet collapse (2009). The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/node/14793737.
  2. Afflitto, F. & Jesilow, P. (2007). The quiet revolutionaries: seeking justice in Guatemala. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  3. AfroCubaWeb (n.d.). The Cuban census: An Afrodescendiente undercount. Retrieved on June 13, 2016 from www.afrocubaweb.com/census2002.htm.
  4. Baró Sánchez, M. (2017). In Cuba, where ‘femicide; is not a crime, the country grapples with gender-based violence. Retrieved on September 1, 2017 from https://www.univision.com/univision-news/latin-america/in-cuba-where-femicide-is-not-a-crime-the-country-grapples-with-gender-based-violence.
  5. Bowleg, L. (2012). The problem with the phrase women and minorities: intersectionality—an important theoretical framework for public health. American Journal of Public Health, 102(7), 1267–1273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CENADOJ (Centro Nacional de Análisis y Documentación Judicial) (2008). Ley contra el femicidio y otra formas de violencia contra la mujer: Decreto número 22-2008. [The law against femicide and other forms of violence against women: Decree Number 22-2008.] Retrieved on June 11, 2018 from https://www.oas.org/dil/esp/Ley_contra_el_Femicidio_y_otras_Formas_de_Violencia_Contra_la_Mujer_Guatemala.pdf.
  7. Center for Disease Control (CDC). (2017). Intimate Partner Violence: Definitions. Retrieved on January 28, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/definitions.html.
  8. Cho, S., Crenshaw, K. M., & McCall, L. (2013). Toward a field of intersectionality studies: theory, application, and praxis. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 785–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Choo, H. Y., & Ferree, M. M. (2010). Practicing intersectionality in sociological research: a critical analysis of inclusions, interactions, and institutions in the study of inequalities. Sociological Theory, 28(2), 129–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cole, E. R. (2009). Intersectionality and research in psychology. American Psychologist, 64(3), 170–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Collins, P. H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Boston: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  12. Constantino, R. (2006). Femicide, impunity, and citizenship: the old and new in the struggle for justice in Guatemala. Chicana/Latina Studies, 6(1), 108–121.Google Scholar
  13. Constantino, R., Rotabi, K., & Rodman, D. H. (2012). Violence against women and asylum seeking: Global problems and local practices applied to Guatemalan women immigrating to safety. Advances in Social Work, 13(2), 431–450.Google Scholar
  14. Cooper, R. S., Kennelly, J. F., & Orduñez-Garcia, P. (2006). Health in Cuba. International Journal of Epidemiology, 35(4), 817–824.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyl175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Culay Pérez, A., Santana Suárez, F., Rodríguez Ferra, R., & Pérez Alonso, C. (2000). Mujer y violencia: ¿Un problema de salud comunitario? [Women and violence: a community health problem?]. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral, 16(5), 450–454.Google Scholar
  16. Deepak, A. (2011). Globalization, power and resistance: postcolonial and transnational feminist perspectives for social work practice. International Social Work, 55(6), 779–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Durané, M. (2016). Situation of human rights defenders in Cuba. The Human Rights Brief. Retrieved March 30, 2018 from https://hrbrief.org/hearings/situation-of-human-rights-defenders-in-cuba/.
  18. Gil López, C. O. (2011). Situación de la violencia doméstica en la mujer, en la población del policlínico “Julio Antonio Mella” [Situation related to female domestic violence in patients from the “Julio Antonio Mella” polyclinic]. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral, 27(4), 486-494.Google Scholar
  19. Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM) (2004). Estudio sobre el femicidio en Guatemala en el año 2004 [Study of Femicide in Guatemala in 2004]. Guatemala City, Guatemala: GGM.Google Scholar
  20. Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM) (2017). Informe anual de muertes violentas de mujeres: 2016, un año con más víctimas y excesiva crueldad hacia las mujeres [Annual Report of Violent Deaths of Women: 2016, a year with more victims and excessive cruelty toward women]. Guatemala City, Guatemala: GGM.Google Scholar
  21. Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA (GHRC/USA) (2009). Guatemala’s femicide law: Progress against impunity? Retrieved from https://www.GHRUSA.org/Publications/Femicide_Law_ProgressAgainstImpunity.pdf.
  22. Human Development Index (HDI) (2014). 2014 human development report. Retrieved May 19, 2015 from https://hdr.undp.org/en/content/table-1-human-development-index-and-its-components.
  23. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), Guatemala (2011a). ENCOVI. Retrieved December, 20, 2013 from https://www.ine.gob.gt/np/sabias/alfa01.jpg.
  24. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), Guatemala (2011b). Población en Guatemala: Demografía [Population in Guatemala: Demographics.] Retrieved December, 20, 2013 from https://www.ine.gob.gt/np/poblacion/index.htm.
  25. International Federation of Social Workers (2012). Statement of Ethical Principles. Retrieved from http://ifsw.org.
  26. Lykes, M. B., Brabeck, M. M., Ferns, T., & Radan, A. (1993). Human rights and mental health among Latin America women in situations of state-sponsored violence. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 17(4), 525–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mattsson, T. (2014). Intersectionality as a useful tool: anti-oppressive social work and critical reflection. Affilia, 29(1), 8–17.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109913510659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McEwan, C. (2001). Postcolonialism, feminism and development: intersections and dilemmas. Progress in Development Studies, 1(2), 93–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCall, L. (2005). The complexity of intersectionality. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30(3), 1771-1800.Google Scholar
  30. Mehrotra, G. (2010). Toward a continuum of intersectionality theorizing for feminist social work scholarship. Affilia, 25(4), 417–430.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109910384190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mejía Giordano de Rivas, C. M. (2009). Los estudios de Trabajo Social en Guatemala . (Período 1949–2008). [The Study of Social Work in Guatemala (1949–2008).] (Master’s thesis, University of San Carlos, Guatemala City, Guatemala.) Retrieved from https://biblioteca.usac.edu.gt/tesis/07/07_2016.pdf.
  32. Menjívar, C. (2011). Enduring violence: Ladina women’s lives in Guatemala. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  33. Miller, T. (2011). Women’s rights advocate fights impunity of gender crimes in Guatemala. PBS News Hour. Retrieved on February 25, 2018 from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/health-jan-june11-norma_03-07.
  34. Minority Rights Group International (2015). Profile: Afro-Cubans. Retrieved on June 13, 2016 from https://minorityrights.org/minorities/afro-cubans/.
  35. Mollett, S. (2017). Irreconcilable differences? A postcolonial intersectional reading of gender, development and human rights in Latin America. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 24(1), 1–17.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2017.1277292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morgaine, K. (2006). Domestic violence and human rights: Local challenges to a universal framework. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, XXXIII(4), 109–129.Google Scholar
  37. Naciones Unidas Derechos Humanos: Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos (2007). Violencia contra las mujeres indígenas en Guatemala [Violence against Indigenous Women in Guatemala]. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org.gt/documentos/publicaciones/Estudio%20sobre%20violencia%20dom%C3%A9stica%20hacia%20mujeres%20ind%C3%ADgenas.pdf.
  38. Nowak, M. (2012). Femicide: a global problem. Small Arms Survey, 14, 1–4. Retrieved from https://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/H-Research_Notes/SAS-Research-Note-14.pdf.
  39. Oficina Nacional de Estadística e Información (2012). Censo de población y viviendas: Informe nacional. Retrieved May 18, 2015 from ww.one.cu/publicaciones/cepde/cpv2012/20140428informenacional/46_tabla_II_4.pdf.
  40. Oxfam America (2001). Cuba: going against the grain. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/research-publications/cuba-going-against-the-grain/.
  41. Patil, V. (2013). From patriarchy to intersectionality: a transnational feminist assessment of how far we’ve really come. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 847–867.  https://doi.org/10.1086/669560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Peace Brigades International (PBI) (n.d.). Protective Accompaniment. Retrieved on September 23, 2017 from https://www.peacebrigades.org/.
  43. Pérez Martínez, V. T., & Hernández Marín, Y. (2009). La violencia psicológica de género, una forma encubierta de agresión [the gender psychological violence is a hidden way of aggression]. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral, 25(2), 1–7.Google Scholar
  44. Radan, A. (2007). Exposure to violence and expressions of resilience in survivors of war. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 14(1–2), 147–164.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J146v14n01_08.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reichert, E. (1998). Women’s rights are human rights: platform for action. International Social Work, 41(3), 371–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reichert, E. (2011). Social work and human rights: a foundation for policy and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Reynolds, L. (2015). Guatemalan domestic workers reveal a dirty business. Women’s eNews . Retrieved from https://womensenews.org/2015/05/guatemalan-domestic-workers-reveal-a-dirty-business/.
  48. Sanford, V. (2008). From genocide to feminicide: Impunity and human rights in Twenty-First Century Guatemala. Journal of Human Rights, 7(2), 104–122.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14754830802070192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schlesinger, S., & Kinzer, S. (1990). Bitter fruit: the untold story of the American coup in Guatemala. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  50. Sobrevivientes.org (n.d.). Nuestros Servicios. Guatemala, City, Guatemala: Author. Retrieved on February 1, 2018 from https://www.sobrevivientes.org/servicios.html#.
  51. Solidarity Center. (2008). Justice for all: the struggle for worker rights in Guatemala. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  52. Srivastava, L., & Austin, M. J. (2012). Women and nongovernmental organizations in developing countries. Social Development Issues: Alternative Approaches to Global Human Needs, 34(1), 77–91.Google Scholar
  53. Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDGF) (n.d.). From MDGs to SDGs. Retrieved from https://www.sdgfund.org/mdgs-sdgs.
  54. The Combahee River Collective. (1977). The Combahee River collective statement. In B. Smith (Ed.), Home girls: A black feminist anthology. New York: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press.Google Scholar
  55. Thomas-Davis, M. (2016). Guatemala: Justice for Sepur Zarco sex slavery victims. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from www.aljazeera.com.
  56. United Nations (1948). Universal declaration of human rights (G.A. Res. 217 A (III)). Adopted 10 December, 1948.Google Scholar
  57. United Nations (1979). Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. Vol. 1249, 1-20378). Adopted 18 December, 1979.Google Scholar
  58. United Nations. (1985). The Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women. New York: Author.Google Scholar
  59. United Nations (1993). Declaration on the elimination of violence against women (G.A. Res. 48/104, U.N. Doc A/Res/48/104). Adopted 20 December, 1993.Google Scholar
  60. United Nations (2004). Elimination of domestic violence against women (G.A. Res. 58/147, U.N. Doc A/Res/58/147). Adopted 22 December, 2003.Google Scholar
  61. United Nations (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development (G.A. Res. A/70/L.1, U.N. Doc A/Res/70/1). Adopted 25 September, 2015.Google Scholar
  62. UN CEDAW (2013). Concluding observation on the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of Cuba (U.N. Doc CEDAW/C/CUB/CO/7-8). Adopted 8–26 July, 2013.Google Scholar
  63. UN Division for Gender Affairs (n.d.). Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean: Cuba – Country profile. Retrieved on September 1, 2017 from https://oig.cepal.org/en/countries/11/profile.
  64. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (n.d.). Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2017/goal-05/.
  65. UN Women Global Database on Violence Against Women (n.d.) Cuba: Prevalence data on different forms of violence against women. Retrieved on April 10, 2018 from https://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en/countries/americas/cuba#3.
  66. Valdez Rojas, J. C., Salasar Lima, A., Hernández Morejón, E., Domínguez Sánchez, M., de la Torre Diañez, R., & Barbosa Rodríguez, D. (2002). Violencia intrafamiliar. Enfoque de género. [Family violence: focus on gender.]. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral, 18(4), 248-250.Google Scholar
  67. Ventura Aliello, Y., Cervera Estrada, L., Díaz Brito, Y., Marrero Molina, L., & Pérez Rivero, J. (2005). Violencia conyugal en la mujer. [Spousal violence against women]. Revista Archivo Médico de Camagüey, 9(5), 54-60.Google Scholar
  68. Villarreal Sosa, L., & Moore, A. (2013). Chicana feminisms, intersectionality, and social work: Crossing borders, building bridges. In J. L. Finn, S. Karandikar, & T. E. Perry (Eds.), Gender oppression and globalization: Challenges for social work. Alexandria: CSWE.Google Scholar
  69. World Health Organization (WHO) (2012). Understanding and addressing violence against women. Geneva: Author. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/77432/1/WHO_RHR_12.36_eng.pdf.
  70. World Health Organization (WHO). (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar
  71. Zamora, A. (2016). When will Cuba pass a law against domestic violence? Diario de Cuba. Retrieved from https://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1457456446_20780.html.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Work and GerontologyShippensburg UniversityShippensburgUSA
  2. 2.Jane Addams College of Social WorkUniversity of IL at ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations