“We must confront a dictatorship based on different forms of domination.
It is not only predatory capitalism, not only racism that has also been
strengthened in this dictatorship, but also the patriarchy.”

Berta Cáceres



In the question of migration there is inequality when we approach the reality of most women. The impact and implications of COVID-19 are different for men and women and constitute greater inequalities for those people who are in vulnerable positions, such as migrant women. This dramatic reality represents an involuntary “Lent” for them as a result of the subordination of the violence that generates xenophobia, trafficking, discrimination and femicide. All these factors drive them to forced displacement. 

Comprehensive well-being is fundamental when it comes to understanding the impact that these factors have on women. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not simply the absence of a disease or illness. In the context of migration, this means the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants and displaced populations. Migrant women experience a more intense vulnerability and threat to their physical, mental and social well-being.

At this historic moment, mired in a pandemic, the world requires coordinated and comprehensive responses to health, health services and other measures that mitigate the social and economic impacts of the health crisis.  However, for Honduras in 2020, 287 violent deaths of women were recorded. Between January and February 15, 2021, 33 women were murdered.

Despite these obvious forms of violence, for many, patriarchy is invisible. It is, however, a manifest reality within the social, political and economic system and structure that has generated poverty, inequality and impunity for women. It represents one of the causes of their forced displacement that is also present during transit and destination. In this context there exist 

“the high rates of femicides and violence against women. According to official data from January 2018 to August 2019, more than 2,118 women were murdered, with Guatemala being the country with the highest number of femicides (966), followed by Honduras with 481.”

Likewise, when this underserved, underrecognized, and vulnerable sector of the population reaches the destination country, the search for work is essential as a means to achieve a higher quality of life. Options for work are often restrictive for them, due to gender  archetypes, they are confined, sometimes clandestinely, to a narrow margin between domestic service and sexual service, often being victims of trafficking. 

This March 8, from the drama of the migration of women, we demand mobility based on human rights, gender equity and equality, for migration policies that respect the dignity of each migrant and for the resurgence of justice in the countries of origin. We unite in prayer for so many women and girls who have disappeared and enslaved in trafficking, for those who seek asylum and refuge, for the women who go with their children in the caravans, for every woman violated by machismo along the way. 

Ana Victoria López
Franciscan Network on Migrants




[1]Cfr. Autor Invitado. “Los riesgos adicionales de la COVID-19 para las mujeres migrantes, y cómo abordarlos”. 06 de marzo 2021, de ONU Migración , sitio web: https://rosanjose.iom.int/site/es/blog/los-riesgos-adicionales-de-la-covid-19-para-las-mujeres-migrantes-y-como-abordarlos.

[2] Cfr. PNUD para América Latina. (2020). Los Impactos Económicos del Covid-19 y las Desigualdades de Género Recomendaciones y Lineamientos de Políticas Públicas. 06 de marzo 2021, de Americalatinagenera.org Sitio web: http://americalatinagenera.org/newsite/images/cdr-documents/2020/04/PNUD_GENERO_COVID19__ESP_FINAL_ok_5.pdf

[3]Marlín Sierra. (13 de diciembre 2019). Desigualdad y violencia en Centroamérica. 07 de marzo 2021, de http://www.cries.org/ Sitio web: http://www.cries.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Desigualdad-y-violencia-en-Centroamerica-1.pdf