Nicaragua: Violeta Vanesa Delgado Sarmiento

There is no path laid ahead, the path is laid down while you walk–this is my motto. It is from a verse written by Antonio Machado.

— Violeta Vanesa Delgado Sarmiento

Violeta Delgado Sarmiento works in Nicaragua for women's rights. She campaigns to strengthen the political role of women in Nicaragua and to make their presence in the political scene more visible. “We have achieved the passing of the Law to Prevent and Sanction Violence against Women; the implementation of a project to offer aid to mistreated women and, above all, there has been a major social recognition of the gravity of this problem in our country.”

“Women in my family have always been engaged in the search for justice. One day I said to myself: I can not be left behind. How can I join the people that denounce violence and injustice if I am only 11 years old?!” Her father was, and still is, very conservative in thought. In Nicaragua, at that time, nobody in his family was permitted to participate in activities considered then to be just a little better than terrorism. In the 1980s, during the Sandinist Popular Revolution, Violeta Vanesa Delgado Sarmiento started her path down the road towards her search for justice and social equality. “I decided to challenge everything around me and took the first steps by participating in the National Literacy Crusade,” she says. And from that moment on, nobody could stop her. She went on to participate in the activities planned by the juvenile section of the Sandinist Youth Organization, mainly taking part in activities related to the harvesting of coffee, cotton and the campaign for better health. But it was in 1993 that she really began to comprehend the problems that women faced. With others companions she founded the Commission for Young Women and after that decided to participate in the preparations for the IV World Conference for Women. In 1994, she was appointed as Executive Secretary of the organization Women's Network against Violence. She was only 24 years old! “Two fundamental things have marked my life: the first was when I supported the denunciation process presented by Zoilamérica Narváez, when she testified that she had been raped by her stepfather, Daniel Ortega, who, at that time, was President of the Republic. The second significant event was when I defended the right of a young girl to interrupt her unwanted pregnancy result of rape. For me, the right to life is a matter of honor.”

Women's Network against Violence