Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Rights’

In the News: Updates from January 2015

February 4, 2015

There has been quite a lot going on in the past few weeks here in El Salvador. To get caught up on things, check out these short summaries and follow the links for the full news stories! 

US Aid to Central America

President Obama submitted a $1 billion dollar proposal as part of the 2016 budget to congress that will go towards the goals of the Alliance of Progress. This plan, aimed at the three countries of the “Northern Triangle”: El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, promises to provide opportunities to the population that is most prone to forced migration  to the United States.  Funds will be restricted to  the following sectors: international trade infrastructure, education, human capital projects, employment opportunities, and security and justice accessibility.

 

“Second Truce” Rumors

Yet again, rumors have been circulating about  the possibility of the government signing onto a second truce with leaders from the major factions of the gangs in El Salvador. With the murder rate in January 2015 averaging 11 murders daily, many religious leaders are pressing for further action.  Both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church are (as known by the public) conducting “informal” talks with the gang leaders. Neither clergy can act on the State’s nor the gangs’ behalf to give legitimacy to these discussions. However, church leaders are prioritizing the safety of Salvadorans.  Even an informal agreement would provide a great deal of assurance and peace of mind among the Salvadoran population.

 

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Equality: Marching from an Idea to an Experience

November 26, 2014

On November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women, the streets of San Salvador were filled with women of all ages denouncing gender-based violence.  Chants rose up to the Legislative Assembly saying, “We are now in the 21st century! Women have rights! We want equality!” And “Violence is that the government and the church make decisions about my body!”

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Azul holds her sign reading “I denounce the crimes against women. Not even one more disappeared or assasinated!”

One of the women at Tuesday’s march, Amanda Castro, walked along side her 10 year old daughter, Azul Castro, carrying a picket sign advocating for the end to violence against women. When asked why she was there, Amanda responded, “For me, November 25th is a day to denounce the systemic violence against women that comes from the state.”

To what was she referring?  El Salvador has one of the most rigid abortion laws in the world.  If the experience of having a miscarriage were not emotionally and physically straining enough, the Salvadoran Government in 1998 found a way to cause even more harm to women who go through it.  A woman in El Salvador can be sentenced to anywhere from 15 to 40 years of imprisonment for having a miscarriage. Many women at the march held up signs detailing the lives of 17 women who have been unjustly incarcerated under the terms of that law.

Amanda continued, “I am here with my daughter and all these other women today in the struggle to end sexism and inequality. Azul is intentionally here with me today. This is a consciousness raising event. She is a tool for the future.”

Young girls and women are the hope for a different future, one where equality will not just be an idea but will be an experience. Through community involvement and advocacy, young girls like Azul are challenging the current patriarchal system. Educating women and men alike about women’s rights is the answer to repealing oppressive institutionalized laws which claim complete control of a woman’s body.  There is hope for the future, and in this case, her name is Azul.

 


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.

forges_dia_de_la_mujer

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.

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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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“Juntas Somos Más”

November 4, 2013

Women at the Natonal Assembly cheering!

Women at the Natonal Assembly cheering!

On October 15th, The Alliance of Rural Women convened for the Third National Assembly, at the National University of El Salvador. Various organizations of women working for gender equality through education compose the Rural Women Alliance, including: the CCR, CRIPDES, CORDES, National Network of Women Leading Change (RMPC) , Research Institute for the Training and Development of Women (IMU) , Salvadoran Women’s Movement (MSM), Mélida Anaya Montes Association Movement (Las Mélidas), and AMSATI, a women’s agricultural organization within CONFRAS, the Confederation of Federations of Agricultural Cooperatives from the Salvadoran Agricultural Reform.

The assembly conveyed the power that rural women are gaining as they organize their communities and advocate for policies that will improve the lives of rural families. Rural women confront various threats in their communities, such as machismo, domestic violence, lack of opportunities to obtain jobs in the public sector, the lack of education regarding women’s rights and laws, as well as the complete lack of educational opportunities generally.

At the first Assembly in 2011, the women discussed the politics of gender equality and the importance of creating a space for female organization. In the second Assembly in 2012, the women presented specific policy demands to various government officials who signed commitments assuring positive change. However, the objective of this year’s assembly was to encourage women to embody an articulate front, and to demand answers from government officials who promised to facilitate dialogue between women and the Legislative Assembly. The absence of these government officials at the Third Assembly was a symbol of their failure to follow through on their commitments. Juanita, the women’s coordinator from the CCR, insists that the next step is to “transform these demands into real changes and to implement new public policy which is in favor of rural women”.

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Update on Women´s Attention Centers: A Life Free of Violence

October 30, 2013

On November 25th, 2010, The Special Law for a Life Free of Violence against Women passed, guaranteeing that unlike in the past, the thousands of femicide cases, physical abuse, harassment in the workplace, communities, and schools, would be addressed, not pushed aside as “cultural issues”. Prior to the passage of the law, El Salvador ranked highest for intentional female homicide in the world: 13.9 for every 100,000 women.

ORMUSA (Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace), a longtime SHARE partner, recognized the severity of the violent situation women faced on a daily basis and decided to take action. “Women need to know that there are spaces for them to denounce these crimes,” explains Silvia Juarez of ORMUSA.  Although the femicide rate has only dropped slightly, the number of court cases and convictions concerning violence against women have increased. According to Juarez, this is because women are slowly learning their rights, denouncing these crimes, and most importantly, standing up for themselves.

Pamphlet explaining the importance of reporting crimes and describing the purpose of the Attention Centers.

Pamphlet explaining the importance of reporting crimes and describing the purpose of the Attention Centers.

Raising awareness of this law does not only mean educating the victims, but also ensuring that those that make up the justice system, ie., police officers, judges, social workers, etc, handle these cases appropriately. With the support of The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and the Rachael and Ben Vaughan Foundation SHARE has supported ORMUSA in training police officers, social workers, and medical personnel in responding to women who are victims of violent crimes.

“We have been training police officers, building attention centers, and promoting gender equal policies for quite some time now. And finally we are seeing some results,” explains Juarez. Six Women’s Attention Centers have been constructed in different PNC (National Civilian Police) units throughout the country.  But ORMUSA will not stop there.  They plan on having ten centers in place before the end of the year.  And plan to have twelve centers by the end of 2014.

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Developing Women’s Rights: Roundtable Event in Chalatenango

October 16, 2013

 

Women of CCR

Women of CCR

In the 1970s, the valiant women of Chalatenango began organizing their communities, combating historical human rights abuses, fighting for women’s rights, and against mining. Today, almost four decades later, the women of the CCR (la Asociación de Comunidades para el Desarrollo de Chalatenango) continue to stand up for the rights of their communities. Made up of over 100 organized rural communities in Chalatenango, the CCR comprises one of the four CRIPDES regions with which SHARE partners.

Empowering women to be leaders within their communities lies at the center of transforming gender relationships in El Salvador. On September 25th the Women’s Secretariat of the CCR held a roundtable event  to strengthen this movement through an exchange of information and discussion of current events among the women who work tirelessly to continue this movement.

The roundtable included the women from different communities in the CCR, a representative from ISDEMU (the Salvadoran Institute for Women’s Development), two representatives from the Ministry of Education, and a representative from CORDES (a close partner of CRIPDES that provides technical training and support for agricultural initiatives). This roundtable touched upon various themes, including: domestic violence, liberating women from their silence and encouraging them to denounce crimes committed against them, promoting literacy at the regional and national level, and promoting women’s rights through advertisements on community radio stations.

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Norman Quijano: From Mayor to President?

October 14, 2013

Norman QuijanoThis is the second post in a three-part series introducing the three main candidates for presidency, representing UNIDAD (a coalition of the GANA, CD and PCN parties), ARENA, and the FMLN. Six months remain until Election Day on February 2nd, when a team of elections observers will join SHARE to ensure a free and just electoral process for El Salvador in 2014.

On August 15th, Norman Quijano took leave from his position as the mayor of San Salvador to focus on his official presidential campaign for the ARENA party. Although the elections polls show too many discrepancies to predict a winner, Quijano is a strong candidate because of his popularity as mayor of San Salvador, having won a second term in 2012 by a landslide.

Norman Noel Quijano Gonzalez was born on November 2nd, 1946 in Santa Ana to a middle class family. He graduated from the University of El Salvador in 1977 with a Bachelor’s degree in Odontology. He continued his studies for oral surgery in Argentina, Cuba, Colombia and the United States. Quijano was first introduced to politics under the reign of then ARENA mayor Dr. Armando Calderón Sol, when he served as the Manager for Social Action of San Salvador from 1989 to 1994 . He then held the position of Board Secretary of the Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2009.

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New Women’s Attention Center: Transforming Police’s Treatment of Women

September 7, 2013

1236715_10151845782219301_1624469749_nThis morning in Apopa, ORMUSA, the United Nations, USAID, and the National Civilian Police (PNC), inaugurated the fifth UNIMUJER (Women´s Attention Unit) in El Salvador. This unit will give special attention to women and their children who are victims of violence in the northern part of San Salvador. Six Apopa PNC members have been specifically trained to address these particular cases and the PNC as a whole is receiving training with regards to gender equality within the Salvadoran justice system.

The Special Law for a Life Free of Violence Against Women, passed November 25th, 2010 through the initiative of various women’s rights organizations, including ORMUSA in coordination with women legislators, requires various government institutions to install women’s attention units. ORMUSA helps provide training for a variety of government officials.SHARE has long supported ORMUSA (Organization of Salvadoran Women) and their push for holistic attention for women who are victims of violence and hate crimes.

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