For the past 20 years, the women that have spearheaded the evolution of LACEV (Latin American Coalition Against Violence) and then MUJER, have developed and implemented educational workshops, trainings and campaigns that deal with issues that affect Latin American women and girls that live in Canada.
MUJER has provided leadership trainings, engaged in community based research, created numerous educational tools such as manuals and PSAs, all aimed to develop awareness of the sexual violence that affects the Latin American community in the Greater Toronto Area.
Based in Toronto, with a partnership network that extends across the province, MUJER works from an inclusive, anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and feminist framework.
MUJER is an organization that promotes the integral development of Latin American women, emphasizing their rights and freedom. MUJER promotes programs, resources, and services that respond to the needs of Latin American women and youth.
- To promote the integral development of all Latin American women including Aboriginal and African descendant women;
- To encourage the representation of Latin American women at all social and political levels within Canadian society;
- To advocate for policies and inclusive structures for the Latin American women within the Canadian Society;
- To support Latin American women who carry out political and leading actions that agreed with our mandate, vision and mission;
- To promote changes to Legislation that is sexist and discriminatory towards women.
As women from Latin America, we recognize that the majority of women suffer exploitation, discrimination and marginalization in a society that grants power and privilege to men (patriarchy). As women, we find ourselves subordinated and limited in our individual and social duties. We also recognize that, despite the unification of women on the basis of our gender, there are social, cultural and economic inequalities that may allocate certain privileges to some women and not to others.
Our organization deems essential women’s holistic development to be rooted in women’s own realities. In our work, we place emphasis on women’s rights and the freedom that they are entitled to in all aspects of her life (public and private).
Our practice is guided by building equality and by the fight to eliminate and prevent the different forms of oppression that affect women. Our principles are based on the belief that to the extent that women achieve equal participation, we will enjoy the benefits that such participation might generate. It is only that we will also start planting the seed of a new society, which respects differences, has greater tolerance towards diversity, and solidarity of gender and democracy.
Our Work & Strengths
From its inception, MUJER has developed and delivered prevention/educational programs, and has provided formal and informal services on violence against women and children. They address the safety and well-being primarily of Spanish-speaking women and children living in Ontario (with a focus on Toronto & the GTA). MUJER also focuses its work on empowering Latin women and youth by promoting their integral development into Canadian society.
Our strengths have become apparent because of our incessant work at different levels, and with a diversity of groups, including:
- Women and families victims of violence and abuse;
- Youth Latinas (12 and up);
- Front-line workers and service providers in the social, housing, protection, legal and health areas;
- Researchers and academics interested in issues affecting our community;
- Government representatives, funders and sponsor organizations;
- Other ethno-specific, and gender specific organizations and community based agencies and networks;
- The Latin-American community and the community at large at the local, provincial and international levels.
Thus, our work has been critical in:
- Providing prevention and education workshops, seminars, training and public education to more than 2,500 Latin American and Caribbean women and men;
- Developing and delivering bilingual public education campaigns through the media (radio, TV and ethno-specific community newspapers), educational sessions, forums, conferences, public speeches and presentations;
- Developing an analysis of the impact of violence on Latin American women’s lives and their children, from a cultural, feminist and anti-oppression perspective, not only for the Spanish speaking community, but for English-speaking public at large;
- Training more than 620 front-line workers on the issues faced by Latin-American women and families victims of violence who are now living in Canada and the direct links to the health and well-being not only of women and children themselves, but of the community at large;
- Developing new strategies for the delivery of quality culturally appropriate and effective services, including educational programs, focus groups, support services (over the telephone), referrals and advocacy and escort for abused women and children, and those at-risk;
- Creating new knowledge through research and information/education tools to enhance peoples’ understanding of the current issues faced by Latin American women and their families, from the global perspective. This includes bilingual audio-visual and print materials as resources for educational purposes;
- Providing a support network for front-line workers, social workers, therapists, legal/health workers, volunteers, activists and advocates on issues of violence/trauma and abuse in the Latin American community;
- Establishing successful partnerships and collaborations with an increasing number of organizations, cross-sectorial agencies and networks within and outside the Spanish speaking community and at the local, national and international levels.