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Brisna Caxaj

Brisna Caxaj is a feminist sociologist. She is the Gender Program Director at Impunity Watch Guatemala. She's the President of the Board of Directors of the Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas (National Union of Guatemalan Women). Brisna’s work focuses on women's rights, including sexual violence during the thirty-six year, internal armed conflict in Guatemala and, more currently, on how deep-seated racism and discrimination in Guatemala prevented the Mayan Achi women from being able to get justice and transformative reparations. She has worked with the Maya Achi women during their long legal struggle in the Sepur Zarco case.

Working with Brinton Lykes of Boston College and Allison Crosby of York University, Brisna coordinated the feminist participatory action research project with fifty-four Maya Q’eqchi’, Kaqchikel, Mam and Chuj women who were survivors of Guatemalan state sponsored sexual violence perpetrated during the armed conflict. The multi-year FPAR project included a series of workshops that used creative techniques - drawing, collage, dramatization, body sculptures, and Mayan cosmovisions - to elicit complex and contestational stories through which the Mayan women could better understand the harm suffered and their struggle for redress and transitional justice.

Caxaj, Brisna. (2010). La discusión sobre las políticas de reparación o resarcimiento a nivel internacional [Approaches to reparations policies at the international level]. La Lupita, Year 2, Vol. 3, June, pp.12-16.

Caxaj Brisna and Marlies Stappers (March 25, 2022). Episode 56 – Believing in Guatemalan Women. Asymmetrical Haircuts Podcast with host Janet Anderson.

Cools, Laura & Brisna Caxaj (June 2017). Guatemala: How the Sepur Zarco Women lifted impunity for sexual violence. Justiceinfo.net

Crosby, Alison, Brisna Caxaj and M. Brinton Lykes. (2014). Understanding women’s struggles for justice, healing, and redress: A study of gender and reparation in postwar Guatemala. IDRC Project Number: 106616-00020799-003

Crosby, Alison, M. Brinton Lykes & Brisna Caxaj (2016). Carrying a heavy load: Mayan women’s understandings of reparation in the aftermath of genocide, Journal of Genocide Research, 18:2-3, 265-283, DOI: 10.1080/14623528.2016.1186952

Oct. 31, 2022

Episode 4 with Brinton Lykes and Brisna Caxaj

In this episode, Brinton Lykes and Brisna Caxaj discuss a long-term feminist participatory action research project supporting Mayan women’s agency in their search for redress for harm suffered during the genocidal violence pe...

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