Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Germana, Bolivia


““…there have been things also within all those processes that have broken me a lot and I think that just to resist, I think in relation to the persistence, from the deep love of wanting to change something and the feeling that something can be whatever happens to another person – that you love or any other person who is really going through something unfair, for something that hurts them a lot in their beings or yourself, then, wow, when you talk to me about resistance I think a lot about people and say, wow, thank you, thank you for having met all those people…”

Germana’s Story

Germana was an energetic teenager, avid in search of answers and with no fear of expressing her doubts. She calls herself “nosy.” When she was 12, her sister invited her to Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir. Her and other girls created the youth collective “Choose.” She was part of both spaces until she was 23. During that time, she was able to recognise her leadership and accompaniment skills. Both spaces gave her learning experiences and beautiful challenges that supported her growth.

For Germana, the library was a place that openned her understanding and perspective about sexual and reprodutive topics, and supported her to reshape how she thought about the catholic religion. One day at the library, she found a magazine that discussed the decriminalisation of pregnancy interruptions by choice. In the magazine, she found a story that was related to  Jesus’ mother. One of the messages caught her attention and has stayed in her memory: “Mary was like any other teenager who might have  been a victim of sexual violence.” That phrase rumbled around her mind for a while.  It made her think about the difficulties of listening to the same story every time. To the point where the narrative begins to be taken as the norm. This dynamic is very similar to the experience of sexual abuse, where the practices are perceived as romantic.

As Germana continued to grow, she continued to question everything. This was not easy as she was part of a very conservative catholic family. Yet, her very personal awakening led to the transformation of the world around her. Germana was very active and participated in a national education program about sexual education broadcasted on TV. Her parents would receive calls from relatives that would tell them: “how is it possible that your daughter is on tv talking about those things? People will begin to call her a slut. When her dad would talk to her to express his concerns, she would tell him that he did not have to worry as they are referring to her and not him. This allowed for some laughs and calmed him down.

Another time that she appeared on TV to discuss the decriminalisation of pregnancy interruption by choice, she suffered an attack from an ultraconservative man that didn’t believe in women’s rights. When she returned home her father left her a message saying: “I think men don’t have the right to interfere in a woman’s decision. Because you are the ones who, in the end, will have to carry a child for 8 or 9 months, or not. And, I understand that you go through complicated processes inside your body. So, I consider men’s opinions to be unnecessary in this regard.” Her family’s shift came from many processes and experiences influenced by her work. It was a very positive reward and it made her very happy to know that her younger brother would have the opportunity to share things with her parents that would have been impossible in the past.

For Germana, her mother has been a fantastic life companion because she has enjoyed her achievements. Germana had the opportunity to ask and share things about her story with her mother, things such as sex and maternity. Her mother has been a companion who could share and talk about pretty hard processes that she had gone through.  Besides her family, the networks that she had built and developed over time are her primary support. She loves to talk about Redlac and, more recently, FRIDA fund.  Germana is very passionate about taking action, building networks, and contributing to a better world.