Luz Estella Cifuentes
Coordinator of the NAC’s Women’s Secretariat and School for Political Training for peasant, Afro-Colombian and Indigenous women
What is peace?
For me, peace is a dream because I have always lived in conflict zones. To me, peace means that women’s voices are being heard and that we decide how we wish to live and what we want to grow. Peace is also being able to recover our land without fear. It is the right to clean air and water. Peace is the right to live a dignified life.
Why are women essential to peacebuilding?
I think women play an essential and very dynamic role in peacebuilding. We, women, have the capacity to look ahead, very far ahead. We envision how our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will live. We envision a future where life will be good for all of us.
Luz Estella holds an executive position within the National Agrarian Coordination and is the head of its Secretariat for Women (Secretaría de mujeres), which includes a multiethnic political training school for Afro-Colombian, Indigenous and peasant women (Escuela de Formacion Politica Inter-Etnica de Mujeres del CNA). As part of her academic training in sociology and rural development, she engaged in extensive research on participation, as well as in community project development and management within NAC. Luz Estella views community mobilization and organization as an alternative to marginalization and neglect.
What is NAC’s multiethnic political training school?
The multiethnic political training school was born in 2014 and its goal is to empower Colombian women living in rural areas. In this school, women analyze and discuss gender equality, the challenges to development, women’s active participation in the community, and women’s participation in building peace at the local, regional and national levels. They also discuss their common concerns, issues and challenges, and how to engage in a reliable and credible manner with local, regional and national authorities and other organizations.