How has Nicaragua ended on the top 10 Gender equality rank for years?

It the first month of 2020, 6 women have been killed. In 2019, it was 45. Since 2010 a woman gets killed by a man on average once a week. It’s not weird to see the headers of woman being lost and found a week later on the news.

For years Nicaragua has around of 4000 – 5000 reported rape cases (12.3 rapes a day in a country with less than 7 million people), but it its very sure this number could be much high, as many cases never get reported. More than two thirds of these rapes are for girls under 17 years.

“Sexual violence against girls is so brutal and so naturalized in the country that it is considered normal, and machismo underlies it all.”

– Mayte Ochoa, reproductive rights organisation

In 2016 Daniel Ortega took down the “Police station for women and children” / Comisaría de la mujer y la niñez. But still more than 150 woman die of pregnancy-related issues for every 100,000 live births, according to the world bank. And also has one of the highest rates of sexual abuse and violence against girls in the world.

When it came to global rankings regarding gender equality, the World Economic Forum ranked Nicaragua at number twelve in 2015, while in 2016 it ranked tenth, and in 2017 the country ranked sixth.

These ranks are hard to believe for women living in Nicaragua. The methods used to give ranks to these countries are based mostly on how many women occupy high rank positions. But it barely takes into account the life in the street of women and childs.

The index measures women’s position compared to men in their country, not to women in other places, according to a BBC report.

According to a BBC report, this index measures women’s position compared to men in the country. But it does not compare women with other countries. So a women ranks high in Nicaragua if the gap is shorter between man in Nicaragua, but it does not compare them to women in other more developed countries.

Photo by: Aljazeera

To build a better future, we need to learn from the past.

In the 80’s after the last Somoza was defeated, a group of young leaders took the handles of the country and were known as “Los comandantes”which were 9. They we’re seen as hero’s and some people recall they were almost praised as god like figures. One of these commandants was Daniel Ortega, current dictator of the country.

They were the rulers of the FSLN party (Frente sandinista de liberación nacional / Sandinista Front of National Liberation).

The name given to the party is inspired by the fight of Augusto Sandino. One of the biggest political figures in the history of Nicaragua. He fought and gave his life to fight against the regime of the first Somoza dictator in the 30’s and was stabbed in the back by Somoza and killed.

Now, the FSLN, (Sandinista Front of National Liberation), now sounds like a big irony and a joke to many. Leaders of this party are the ones stopping the country from making steps towards a better future and imposing and authoritarian regime. Also denying and implementing in no way the global goals set by the UN.

Democracy gives countries the chance for newer generations to lead a country and have fresh perspectives and choices, and move towards a better future.

“Christian, Socialist and solidarity”

How much is the Ortega Family worth? Nobody knows. With the corruption scheme in Nicaragua, the net worth of the Ortega’s is certainly blurred. Even though, everyone knows how in the last years businesses linked to Ortega have grown incredibly fast, with no transparent monitoring.

Photo: Havana Times

Ortega has been called one of the fastest growing regarding his personal wealth, since he came into power. He has abused his power to include nepotism, money laundering and investments for his family interest, including projects like Albanisa, Petronic, Unión Fenosa, and other projects regarding donations from Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.

Most of these actions cause monopolistic markets, and a challenge for the people and the economy of Nicaragua. If you are not link to government people, having a running business could be many times harder than normal.

AK-47, Your Daily Commute

If you walk through the streets of Nicaragua, its not rare to see at least a couple of AK47’s, rifles and other military weapons on your day to day life.

The Nicaraguan dictatorship of Ortega has used armed civilians (govenment fanatics) against the opposition. Now with an economic recession, these same oppressors have become feared criminals and thief’s on the streets of Nicaragua.

Locals have to get used to living under these fear inflicted conditions on their daily life, but it has also become a threat to the local economic development, tourism, which is one of the main economic drivers of Nicaragua and also external investments.

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

On which one of these SDG’s are you going to make a change these coming years?

In 2015 the UN defined the most important goals that have to be achieved before 2030. These goals are aiming at world problems like countries that still have extreme forms of poverty, climate change, biodiversity preservation, healthy and sustainable economies and good relationship within humans and other living beings on earth.

  1. GOAL 1: No Poverty
  2. GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
  3. GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  4. GOAL 4: Quality Education
  5. GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  6. GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
  11. GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. GOAL 13: Climate Action
  14. GOAL 14: Life Below Water
  15. GOAL 15: Life on Land
  16. GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  17. GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

What do you consider to be the most relevant SDG? – Thijs Berman

Thijs Berman, director of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy considers SDG 16 to be the most relevant.

This SDG promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

More specifially SDG 16 is targeting topics like War and Peace, Terrorism, Military Spending, Nuclear Weapons, Homicides, Human Rights, Corruption and Violence Against & Rights for Children.


Taking the decision to migrate from the country that saw your birth is not easy. You leave everything behind, your house, family, friends, plans for the future and everything that you have been building through the years. 

I chose to leave Nicaragua 5 months ago, after spilling tears and without being able to say goodbye to the people I love. I traveled more than 8000kms to a totally different country together with my 2 sons and husband. 

When I arrived in the Netherlands I was very afraid of not knowing what was waiting for me and leaving behind the plans I was making for the future. Since I finished university I worked hard with my whole intention of giving a better life for my family. But here everything changed 180 degrees. Being in an asylum I could not work and your life is just in pause for 2 years, which is the time that whole procedure takes. 

As a refugee, el Dutch government places you in a centrum called AZC (Asylum Seeker Center). Here you find people from all nationalities, so being tolerant is the key of living with others. 

As a mother, my main interest is the safety of my sons, this is why I encourage them of making activities together in the center, teaching them how to move around in the country and this has made our bonds stronger. The first thing I did was take my kids out and walk through the city and teach them how to find places and move around. I want to give my kids back the feeling of safety they lost because of the situation in Nicaragua. 

In the AZC we are staying, we as refugees try to live life the most casual way as possible, going to the gym, using computers, attending classes, painting, hand activities. And thanks to the fact of having 24 hours of internet we have been able to communicate with the people back home. 

I get a small compensation with helping cleaning the center, and it also helps me clear and keep my mind busy for a while. I also go twice a week to a church nearby to learn dutch, still my kids help me with pronunciation and little by little we are starting to adapt and make the best out of the situation. 

The best I have learned from this whole experience is not staying in the room just lamenting what happened. No everyday is easy and sometimes I feel lost and without a path. These moments I just try to remember that I have the opportunity to move on and everyday I’m searching for things to use my mind, integrate and find new ways of reinventing myself. 


A Tribute to Social Protests in Chile and Nicaragua

Friday we inspired each other to make a change. A change to the situation happening in Nicaragua, Chile and Latin America as a whole. Speakers from around the world attended and some even joined online to share their thoughts and experiences.

We laughed, cried, got inspired and also enjoyed live music inspired by the crisis to end up in questions, debate and interesting conversations.

Thank you to everyone who came and participated to make it a special evening!

Voices of Nicaragua

April 18, 2018 changed my life forever. I had no idea that from that day until the 17 of July, my whole life would change. I wouldn’t be able see my family, friends, or my country again. I would be forced to drop out in my senior year of college, one semester away from graduation and move to a country that I knew nothing about, almost 10,000 km away from home, putting a “STOP” in my life for over a year and feeling locked in the biggest prison in the world, only being able to watch as other people kept up with their goals and making me think “Why can’t I have the same opportunies?”. All this happened because one man decided that if I didn’t have the same political views as him didn’t follow him, and instead, helped the innocent, that would make ME a terrorist.

But, in hindsight, I don’t regret anything, because I know that even being so far away, I have done the right thing: fighting for the freedom of my country and my own future. I’m from Nicaragua, a small country that only few know how to locate on a map. Since April 18, 2018, my country has been living under bloody and violent government repression that has killed, injured and imprisoned hundreds of innocent people. In all of this time, I have learned how evil the world can be; I have seen people die, starve, get poisoned, get shot and even get hit until they lose their consciousness. Every time we got between a crossfire, I became a doctor, a journalist, a politician, a soldier, a bodyguard, and even a psychologist. When this nightmare began, I was a normal 19 year-old girl -an architecture student who loved to go to parties and have dinners with friends, celebrate family traditions and discover new places in my country; I knew nothing about real violence. My biggest dream is being able to travel the world and learn about new cultures and ideas, so that one day, when I can come back to Nicaragua, I can start building a better place.

My only hope is that the people that I had to leave in Nicaragua are still alive and still waiting for me.

How students became one of the main forces of change

Students have become one of the main forces trying to bring a change to Nicaragua.

Waving the Nicaraguan flag, remembering and praising the name of the death students and citizens killed by the Ortega government in every public manifestation. And most important, they have been the ones in the front lines fighting against military trained forces with sticks, stones, home made tools and a courage that has impressed and motivated everyone to join their movement.

Universities became war zones for weeks, a place the should be of peace, learning and development. Infiltration, killing and espionage became the daily life of young people at the peak of the conflict in April 2018.