We speak to Laura Ouseley from London-based organisation Central America Women’s Network (CAWN), which supports women’s rights groups in Honduras and across Central America – and is celebrating its 20th birthday this Thursday.
What does CAWN do?
We help women’s organisations in Central America with advocacy and campaigning, for example organising speaker tours and building links between women’s groups in the UK and Central America.
Our main areas of work are around gender equality, women’s rights and violence against women. CAWN’s main project at the moment is supporting a women’s organisation in Honduras to set up self-help groups in order to tackle gender-based violence.
How long have you been running?
We’ve been going since 1991. This Thursday is our 20th anniversary.
You have a speaker tour this week in London, what’s that about?
We have two women’s rights activists from Honduras coming here, Evelyn Cuellar and Mercedes Lainez. They’ll be here for two weeks to talk about their work for Centro de Estudios de la Mujer Honduras (CEMH), our partner organisation in Honduras.
What events are planned in London as part of the tour?
Then on Thursday we have a smaller meeting at The Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London about violence against women in Honduras. Later than evening it’s our 20th anniversary celebration at the Human Rights Action Centre, which anyone is welcome to attend, whether you have been involved with CAWN over the last 20 years, or would like to know more about our work.
The two speakers are then going to Manchester and Scotland before coming back to London for a panel discussion at The Commonwealth Club on 12 April for the Women Reaching Women Conference 2011.
How can people learn more or help with the work you do?
We often rely on volunteers to help us carry out and promote the work we do. Some CAWN volunteers and activists help with translations, for example, while others organise events, fundraise and promote our work.
The best way to get involved with CAWN is to become a member and receive more information about the work we do, or come along to one of our events and speak to us in person.
Where else can you find out about Honduras in London? Tell us in the comments below.