Posts Tagged ‘Women’

Bio 2 of 4: Sister Ita Ford

July 17, 2015

Four Churchwomen- Ita

Sister Ita Ford (1940-1980)

Ita Ford was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 23,1940. She joined the Maryknoll Sisters in 1961 after graduating from Marymount Manhattan College. Only three years later, health problems forced her to leave. After working as an editor for a publishing company for seven years, Ita re-applied and was once again accepted to the Maryknolls. Read More »

Rural Women’s Empowerment in San Vicente

November 8, 2014

The following is the semster for the Rural Women’s Empowerment Project in San Vicente.

CRSV 2014 RWE Report Summary pic 1

Women in the community of El Salto learn to sew, in coordination with Ciudad Mujer.

Project Description
This project aims to strengthen women’s organization, formation, and awareness in regards to women’s rights.

Project duration: January–December 2014

This semester included:
Raising women’s awareness of their rights, and strengthening their abilities to exercise those rights through gatherings attended by 44 women.
Improving nutrition for 30 women and their families through a program that will take place the second half of this year.
Strengthening women’s leadership and advocacy skills, participating in local struggles and local historical commemorations. Women now participate more actively in their women’s committees and in local events. Attendance at community assemblies varied from 25-70 women participants.
Following up on the three women’s savings and loans groups that formed in 2013. CRIPDES led a motivational activity to strengthen the savings culture among the three groups. Read More »

More than just cooking and cleaning

October 7, 2014

Recently, SHARE staff spent some time getting to know the women that form various Savings and Loans Groups in La Libertad. Cripdes Sur help found over 130 of these groups in the last year. Some have more than $1,000 in savings already. However, the purpose of the groups isn’t just to foster a culture of savings, but to also provide women with a space to talk about their rights. Many women in El Salvador have never been told that they have more rights than just “cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children,” as woman responded on television here the other day. The women of La Libertad are becoming organized and money savvy. “For Cripdes, there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing these groups moving forward,” shared Zulma, Cripdes Sur Women’s Coordinator.

The following is a group interview of the women of Colonia Belen, Comasagua:

What do you like about the Savings and Loans Group?

“It motivates us to keep moving forward, especially those of us who are single mothers.”

“We now know how to value ourselves as women.”

“The time that we get to share together is the beautiful part of it all.”

“It is great what we are learning about our rights.”


What do the other women of the community think of the Savings and Loans Groups? Are they interested in joining?

“Some women say that they are too busy. But we are all busy, but I love being a part of this group because I learn so much.”

“Many more want to join next year after this cycle closes.”


What do the men of the community think of the Savings and Loans Groups?

“They support us!”

“My husband doesn’t put any obstacles in the way of my participation.”

“For the most part, they think everything is fine.”

“Now they know they can’t hit us because we have the numbers of the organization that will help us. Hitting women is illegal. We now know our rights.”

[The men] ask, ‘When are they going to create Ciudad Hombre (referring to the government program Ciudad Mujer)?’ But the answer is that it already exists. It’s called Chalatenango, Santa Ana, and San Salvador (names of large cities in El Salvador).”


Do you have any questions you would like to ask our project partners? If so, contact Claire Moll at


Cuentos de Chalatenango: Food Sovereignty and Rural Women’s Empowerment

October 4, 2014

The following is the semester report for the Food Sovereignty and Rural Women’s Empowerment Project in Chalatenango.

To contribute to the development of rural women through strengthening the organization of women’s committees, developing leadership skills through workshops in leadership, self-esteem, awareness of laws that protect the rights of women, and economic and technical support for small agricultural initiatives.

CCR 2014 Rural Women's Empowerment Semester Report Summary pic 1

CCR exchange event for women to share knowledge and experiences.

Duration: January – December 2014

Location: Seven municipalities throughout the department of Chalatenango

This semester’s activities included:
Three training sessions for 89 women participants on soil preparation and garden management to establish the family gardens
Three exchanges for 85 women participants to share their experiences and knowledge regarding the nutritional value of the vegetables and greens they
Elaboration of the Advocacy Plan for the Chalatenango Women’s Association with 29 women participating from 4 rural communities and the urban center of
Follow up visits and workshops for project beneficiaries from the 2013 SHARE-CCR Women’s Empowerment project.

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From Housewives to Business Women

August 27, 2014

“Somos-pues-eramos amas de casa pero ya somos empresarias.”
(“We are-no-we were housewives but now we are business women.”) -Celina

Looking for a bit of a midweek-pick-me-up dose of inspiration? Look no further than to the community of El Cristal in San Vicente. The women of this community have not only participated in various trainings through Ciudad Mujer,DSC_0641 taken on leadership roles in El Cristal, and worked on community development projects but also have come together to form an official, legal union through which they can sell their goods.

Some of their current and past projects include:

  • Attending workshops where they learn to make natural shampoos and soaps that they can then sell and profit from.
  • Petitioning the national government to receive the deeds to the land that they live on, thus giving them full ownership.
  • Even more, there are women from this group that are on the community board that brought potable water, electricity, latrines, and other infrastructure to El Cristal.

The women of this community are empowered and making their home better for all! These women are ready to bring regular economic and social development to their community. However, they lack the final funds for a physical space to actually put all of their business skills into practice. Now, some spirits may be dampened by this setback. However, that is just not the case with the women of El Cristal.  When talking about their need, Maria de los Angeles, one of the women at last Tuesday’s meeting, encouraged everyone that, “hay que seguir adelante!” (We have to keep moving forward!)  Her spirit of enthusiasm was contagious. All the other women were able to rally around that sense of purpose and remember that “una comunidad organizada tiene fuerza” (“an organized community has strength”).


Want to stand alongside these women in their community and economic development initiatives? To find out more about how you can accompany the women of El Cristal, please contact our Grassroots Coordinator, Sarah Hall, at today!


Las salvadoreñas celebran el día internacional de la mujer

March 10, 2014

Este 8 de marzo se  celebra el día internacional de la Mujer[1], para conmemorar la fecha  millones de mujeres de todo el mundo salen a  las calles y  hacen escuchar su voz,  manifestando así  la fuerza de su presencia en un mundo que históricamente las ha invisibilizado y violentado. En El Salvador también se celebra  este día  pese a que  es uno de los países más misóginos y violentos  de Latinoamérica. En el  marco de esta celebración es necesario hacer una  breve reflexión sobre la situación de la mujer en este país   y el rol que  la misma debe desempeñar en  el proceso del reconocimiento pleno de sus derechos.


Algunas estadísticas sobre la situación de la mujer Salvadoreña demuestran las grandes desigualdades y exclusiones del cual es victima este sector. La población femenina de El salvador conforma un 53% de la población total, distribuida un 51% en el área urbana y 49% en la zona rural (Según datos del MINEC-DIGESTYC, 2012). Por otra parte, menos de la mitad (47.9 %) de las mujeres en edad de trabajar integran la fuerza laboral y su remuneración promedio equivale al 79.9 % de la de los hombres (DIGESTYC, 2012), de igual forma el sector femenino  representa la mayor proporción de población analfabeta (59%). Estas desigualdades son el producto de la creencia errada  sobre la superioridad del hombre con respecto a la mujer,  promoviendo  la negación o desvalorización del rol de las  mujeres en la sociedad, en la economía y la política.  Se debe recordar que   la mujer salvadoreña  no era considerada plenamente como ciudadana sujeta de derechos y deberes  hasta el año de 1950, cuando la Constitución concedió el voto a las mujeres, sin restricciones y con independencia de su situación familiar.

En el marco del machismo y patriarcado injusto que ha prevalecido en la cultura de la sociedad salvadoreña se han generado restricciones a la participación de las mujeres en los ámbitos educativo, económico y político. Con el pasar de los años la situación ha cambiado un poco gracias a las luchas interminables de muchas mujeres que presionaron para que se les reconociera su dignidad humana, el Estado salvadoreño ha tenido que instaurar,  adherirse y ratificar  nuevos marcos legales nacionales e internacionales  que respondan a las demandas del sector femenino, tales como: la Declaración Internacional de Derechos Humanos en 1948, la Convención para la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación Contra las Mujeres – CEDAW. La convención fue adoptada por las Naciones Unidas en 1979, siendo ratificada por El Salvador en junio de 1981. A nivel interno el estado ha  implementado instrumentos como: Ley de Igualdad, Equidad y Erradicación de la Discriminación contra las Mujeres y la  Ley Especial Integral para una Vida Libre de Violencia para las Mujeres. Pese a la creación  y entrada en vigor de estos instrumentos jurídicos,  el sector femenino continúa siendo victima de la violencia social y de género en el país.  Quedando  demostrado que la creación de leyes por si sola no cambia las realidades si no se crean todas las condiciones para que estas sean aplicadas en su totalidad.

Celebrar, hacer memoria y  aceptar  compromisos. Las salvadoreñas merecen y deben  conmemorar este día porque es una lucha que  han batallado  con tanto esfuerzo y trabajo, gracias a la valentía de muchas  mujeres que ofrendaron su vida a la causa y  decidieron romper el silencio. La mejor forma para festejar la fecha es  haciendo un reconocimiento y revalorización de si mismas, de las capacidades y  del rol fundamental que como mujeres desempeñan  en la sociedad y en la familia salvadoreña. De igual forma,  reflexionar si desde la condición de mujer con las creencias y actitudes que se practican se esta o no contribuyendo a la perpetuación  del machismo en la nuevas generaciones en el caso de las madres, y autoevaluarse si como mujer se ha violentado los derechos e integridad de otras mujeres, de ser así se debe llegar al compromiso de cambiar actitudes, practicas  costumbre y prototipos  aprendidos desde la niñez que violenten y dañen a otras mujeres. Otro compromiso para asumir en el día internacional de la mujer se da en el contexto electoral del país,  ejerciendo el sufragio es otra forma de  hacer sentir la voz femenina y destacar la participación de este sector en el proceso democrático salvadoreño.

Recuerden  asumir su compromiso en la lucha de equidad de género y renunciar a seguir siendo cómplices inconcientes del machismo y el patriarcado.  Feliz día internacional de la mujer para todas las matriarcas, las mujeres valientes que dan vida en todos los sentidos a este país y al  mundo.

[1] El 8 de marzo fue declarado Día Internacional de la Mujer en 1977 por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) que designó al color lila para representar los esfuerzos de las mujeres que han muerto peleando por sus derechos. Esta conmemoración se originó en Nueva York, cuando el 8 de marzo de 1908 un grupo de costureras industriales se declararon en huelga para protestar por sus condiciones laborales, pidiendo un aumento de salarios, reducción de la jornada laboral de 12 horas diarias y el fin del trabajo infantil. Durante esta huelga pacífica 129 mujeres murieron quemadas en un incendio provocado por los dueños de la fábrica “Cotton Textile Factory”.


8 de Marzo: Diá internacional de la mujer

March 8, 2014

1459051_10152041292349301_2136785719_nExiste poca información escrita sobre la lucha de las mujeres por sus derechos ya que la historia antigua fue escrita por hombres.

Durante la Revolución francesa las mujeres  por primera vez de manera colectiva toman conciencia de su situación social. Marchando hacia Versalles, junto a los hombres, reclamando la igualdad social bajo el lema libertad, igualdad y fraternidad. Las mujeres también tomaron conciencia de que en aquel momento la lucha de clases no contemplaba la lucha de género, esto es, la plena igualdad social de la mujer por la que debían luchar. Durante la Revolución francesa se produjeron las primeras peticiones formales de derechos políticos y ciudadanía para la mujer. Así lo refleja la Declaración de los Derechos de la Mujer y de la Ciudadana fue un texto redactado en 1791 por Olympe de Gouges que copiaba en buena medida la Declaración de Derechos del Hombre y del Ciudadano del 26 de agosto de 1789, el texto fundamental de la revolución francesa. Es uno de los primeros documentos históricos que propone la emancipación femenina en el sentido de la igualdad de derechos o la equiparación jurídica y legal de las mujeres en relación a los hombres así como el sufragio femenino.

1975  declaración del ocho de marzo como día  Internacional de la Mujer

Después de varios acontecimientos  históricos como fueron los avances de las mujeres socialistas y las luchas impulsadas por las mujeres trabajadoras, principalmente en los Estados Unidos que dejo como consecuencia 140 mujeres jóvenes la mayoría inmigrantes  que murieron carbonizadas en una fábrica de camisas, lo cual genero repercusiones en las leyes laborales de este país, s que se logra que organismos internacionales como la ONU reconozcan la desigualdad y decretan un día de lucha y reivindicación de los derechos humanos de las mujeres.

La ONU comenzó a conmemorar el 8 de marzo como el Día Internacional de la Mujer. En diciembre de 1977, dos años más tarde, la Asamblea General de la ONU proclamó el 8 de marzo como Día Internacional por los Derechos de la Mujer y la Paz Internacional. Esta adhesión de la ONU llevó a varios países a oficializar este día dentro de sus calendarios.  El Salvador  es uno de los países que se ha sumado a estas declaraciones.

Año 2011 – Centenario del Día Internacional de la Mujer

En el año 2011 se celebró el Centenario del Día Internacional de la Mujer. También comenzó a operar la Entidad de la ONU para la Igualdad de Género y el Empoderamiento de la Mujer, también conocida como ONU Mujeres 

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Happy International Women’s Day!

In 1975, March 8th was declared International Women’s Day after several incidents around the world brought attention to the struggle of working women. In the U.S.,140 young women, the majority of whom were immigrants, died in a factory fire that, in turn, revolutionized the country’s labor laws and brought international attention to the inequality and dangers facing working women.


In December of 1977, two years later, an assembly of the United Nations proclaimed March 8th as International Women and Peace Day. Once this day was officially recognized by United Nations many countries began to officially recognize this day in their national calendar as well. El Salvador is one of the countries that has officially recognized this day.

In 2011, The United Nations started their “Gender Equality and Empowerment Program for Women” commonly referred to as “ONU Mujeres” in El Salvador. International Women’s Day has gained momentum throughout the twentieth century as a global celebration of women and opportunity to campaign for women’s rights. As a result of the attention this day gives to the issue, the international movement to defend the rights of women is growing. This has been reinforced by the United Nations as they have held four world conferences on women’s participation in politics and the economy centered around International Women’s Day.

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Patricia Guadalupe García Panameño, PRESENTE!

March 3, 2014

Paty, Patricia, Hija de la Madre Alicia, daughter of Madre Alicia, Fiel luchadora de los derechos humanos, faithful defender of human rights, voz para la verdad y la justicia, voice for truth and justice, te extrañamos, we miss you, te recordamos, we remember you. Patricia Garcia, Presente!

Paty Betania at Romero march

The day of the Salvadoran presidential elections, Patricia Garcia, president of Comadres and life-long defender of human rights drew her last breath, ending a painful struggle with cancer. No words seem sufficient to truly express Patricia’s spirit, courage, humility, commitment, and beauty.

Patricia grew up in the midst of the Christian Base communities, in the times when it was a crime to carry a Bible, with Monseñor Romero as light and guide. She accompanied her mother, Alicia Garcia and other members of Comadres in search of their disappeared loved ones, including her uncle. When she and her family had to flee to Mexico in 1979, Monseñor Romero helped them find families to stay with and visited them there. When Patricia returned to El Salvador, she helped care for the children of the Comadres as they searched for their loved ones, and helped take the mothers’ testimonies. In the late 80s Salvadoran security forces captured, imprisoned, and tortured Paty. Only through a pressure campaign supported by Edward Kennedy was she released.

Patricia worked alongside Alicia Garcia accompanying las Comadres in the struggle for justice as well as their daily struggles for subsistence, and sharing their testimonies with countless delegations and visitors. Patricia said that her mother taught her that every victim is a gem and should be treated as such. With her gentle spirit, Paty showed profound love in her interactions with the madres of Comadres. Her eyes held a glow of humor, compassion, and thoughtfulness.

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SHARE Visits a Local Farmer’s Market

December 13, 2013

Farmers Market

The Local Market in the UCRES Region

Every 15 days, local farmers and artisans come together to sell their produce and simple crafts in the UCRES region of La Cabaña, just north of El Paisnal. You can find most anything at this colorful market, including: homemade candies, limes, homemade cheeses, cream, papaya, pineapple, spinach and other greens, loroco, squash, green peppers, ornamental plants, and a variety of fabric crafts, such as small thin towels called mantas, used for storing hot tortillas. An assortment of food is also available for purchase: coffee, homemade pastries, pasteles, and a cinnamon, rice, and milk snack known as arroz con leche.IMG_1909

Many of the women who participate in the farmers’ market received training in agricultural techniques and small business practices through SHARE’s partnering organization, UCRES.  The 2013 women’s empowerment project, supported by SHARE’s Grassroots Partners, provided opportunities for women to learn to plant and manage their own home vegetable gardens, among many other skills.  FECORACEN, a local agricultural cooperative affiliated with another SHARE partner, CONFRAS, facilitated workshops on organic fertilizers, garden set-up and management, soil types, and vegetable types and diseases.  

Rosa Delia Pinto

Rosa Delia Pinto

Rosa Delia Pinto from San Antonio Grande was kind enough to share her experience as a vendor in the farmers’ market and participant in the garden workshops.  Aside from tending her small garden, in which she grows eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, green onions, jicama, and jalapeño peppers, she is also very active in local organizations.  She serves as the legal representative for the local women’s association, is a member of the Nonviolence Committee, and a literacy promoter with MINED (the Ministry of Education) in San Antonio Grande.

(This project) has helped us immensely … even though it’s a small amount (that we sell in the markets) we almost always sell everything,”  Rosa sells pineapple, loroco, homemade cheeses and cream, and arroz con leche at her small stand.  She makes the cheese and cream herself from fresh local cow’s milk that she gets from El Verdío, a small community nearby.  

Rosa’s story is just one small testament to the impact of regional women’s projects in El Salvador.  SHARE is looking forward to continued support for 2014 projects, including additional home vegetable gardens in the UCRES region.  Consider supporting women’s empowerment in El Salvador by purchasing a solidarity gift or making a donation.


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