Honduras’ First Female President Sworn In

The first female president in Honduras has now been sworn in. Xiomara Castro has been sworn in as president amid an ongoing political crisis in the country that could threaten her plans for the country. 

At the ceremony, Castro said in her speech that she is taking the lead of a “broken” country, and vowed that she would be pursuing social justice and transparency. One of the issues she plans to tackle is the country’s powerful drug trafficking gangs. Another top issue is to liberalize the country’s very strict abortion laws. 

Castro’s inauguration marks a momentous moment in the country, especially for women. Her election has generated waves of hope for a new ear for Honduran women. The country has the highest rate of femicide — the intentional killing of women and girls because of their gender — in all of Latin America. Honduras also has some of Latin America’s most draconian reproductive rights laws. 

Activists hope that Castro will take actions to improve conditions for women in the immediate, but also accelerate wider, broader, deeper changes in Honduran culture. 

Castro is part of the Libre party, which is a center-left political party. Her win as president is the culmination of a remarkable political rise, which began about 12 years ago when she led huge protest movements after her husband, former president Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a military coup. 

Experts and women’s rights advocates in the country said that her election is a break in the patriarchy and that her win represents that this break can become bigger and bigger, creating more space for women in politics. 

One of her first orders of business is expected to be the undoing of a prohibition against emergency contraceptives. This law was enacted in the wake of the military coup. In Latin America, Honduras is the only country that completely bans both abortion and emergency contraceptives.

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