Rosa Candida Mayorga Muñoz was a Guatemalan social worker, union leader and labor rights defender. She was affectionately called Rosita and she inspired change.
In the 1980’s, Rosa became the first female member of the Executive Committee of the Union of Workers of the Institute of National Electrification (STINDE), a union she first joined to advocate for women’s labor rights. For her, this meant fighting for equal opportunities in a company where many women faced a discriminatory and violent system created by company authorities. Rosa had also suffered sexual harassment in her workplace, both by co-workers and managers. She was not to be kept quiet though.
Rosa continued fighting and was part of the effort to mould the struggle into a more specific form, that of the INDE-STINDE Collective Pact of Working conditions. This pact was a pioneer, the first in Guatemala to typify the concept of (sexual) harassment. It serves as a reference for the Guatemalan legislation on labor matters and is an encouragement for other unions.
“She had no fighting tools other than her own ideals... Many times she was intimidated, harassed to put the fight aside, but her courage generated the image of hope for grassroots unionists. Rosita created an image of respect, not only within her union, but before the authorities of the institution, before the women's movement; she was recognized as a pioneer of the trade union women's movement, in a space that had been more dominated by men.” - Maritza Velasquez, ATRAHDOM
Rosa passed away on 4 April 2018 at the age of 77.