When we closed the application term for the Student Women’s Circle we had more than 200 applicants. We selected 70 students participating in the social movements to be trained. They came from 46 different educational institutions, 18 cities of Chile and 50 communes, 38 communes from Santiago and 32 from the rest of the country. Almost half of them do not have a gender secretary in their institutions, and half of them do not have a protocol in case of abuse of harassment. We had technical, university and high school students. 30% of them were the spokesperson of their group and 60% of them were grassroots students, without any positions. They were participating in the social movements and needed tools to fight harassment and support their mates.
The circle took place on June 20. Early in the morning high school and university students arrived from different communes and cities, some of them even directly from the buses that brought them to Santiago.
It was a powerful and exciting day, we shared and learned from one another. We had amazing speakers who provided different tools to combat sexual harassment in educational institutions.
Words from our Argentinean ally, Belen Fragueiro, on the struggle for abortion in that country, opened the event. Our Director, Claudia Dides, spoke about sexual and reproductive rights in Chile and the struggles linked to them. Later came the turn of Ana Luisa Muñoz, Adriana Bastías and Mónica Vargas, from Red de Investigadoras de Chile (Women Researchers of Chile Network), who discussed their research on sexual abuse protocols in universities. At lunch, the great journalist Rayen Araya shared tools for communication in conflict and bargaining contexts and tips for how to carry oneself when appearing in mass media. Dr. Claudia Bravo, from the Medicolegal Service, explained the different articles of the current Chilean sexual violence law. Finally, Marianne Diaz, from Derechos Digitales (Digital Rights) gave us a presentation on strategies on how to respond to online harassment.
After a day full of learning and emotions, we held a vigil for all the women murdered in the past weeks in Chile.
Thank you to everyone for coming from all over Chile and to the incredible speakers, who nurtured us with their knowledge and experience.
More Women’s Circles to come!
Check out videos featuring the speakers and the participants of the circle in our YouTube channel
View pictures of the event here