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Gender

Communities stand up to gender-based violence in Honduras and Guatemala

Jennifer McCleary-Sills's picture
Also available in: Español



“Despite all the work that we have been doing, the number of women reporting domestic violence cases has been increasing,” one of the participants in a workshop of the Safer Municipalities project said, expressing his frustration.  The Safer Municipalities project is an initiative of the Government of Honduras aimed at preventing violence nationwide.  He added, “There must be something missing in the services and referral system we offer for domestic violence in the Municipal Office for Women.”

As the facilitators of the workshop discussion, we replied that quite the opposite was true:  an increase in the reporting of domestic violence cases is a positive sign that there is growing confidence in local institutions and a result of the Municipal Office’s efforts.  The challenge, we explained, is to address the causes of violence to better support prevention efforts and improve services and response systems.
 

In Latin America, Hard Hats and Tools are no longer only for Men

Maria Margarita Nunez's picture
Also available in: Español

Women that have joined road maintenance has increased significantly.

While driving around rural areas of Puno in Peru, Caaguazú in Paraguay or Granada in Nicaragua, do not be surprised to see women lifting rocks from the roads and using shovels and picks alongside men.  In fact, in the past 15 years, the number of women that have joined organizations in charge of routine road maintenance in Latin America has increased significantly and with this their life conditions have improved dramatically.

La jeune fille qui a construit sa propre maison : « Je n'ai pas à demander à quelqu'un d’autre de le faire pour moi »

Kamilah Morain's picture
Also available in: English

En Haïti, le recrutement de jeunes femmes pour les former à ce qui a toujours été perçu comme des métiers majoritairement masculins est une tâche difficile. Notre équipe a découvert que, si de nombreuses familles voulaient profiter de l'occasion qu’offrait la formation pour éduquer leurs filles, elles étaient hésitantes parce que la formation offerte était dans des rôles non traditionnels.

En effet, ces étudiantes allaient apprendre des professions attribuées à des ouvriers/artisans tels que la maçonnerie, la menuiserie, la manœuvre d’engins lourds, la plomberie et le câblage électrique. Les pères et surtout les mères se sont farouchement opposés à ce que leurs filles exercent ce type de métier, mais pour des raisons différentes.

Chez les pères c’était souvent la même question qui revenait : «Pourquoi vous ne leur apprenez pas à faire quelque chose de plus respectable, plus adapté pour une fille, à être secrétaire, ou travailler dans un hôpital ?". Quant aux mères, la principale raison du refus était la crainte pour la sécurité de leurs filles, de peur qu’elles puissent devenir des cibles faciles pour des hommes sans scrupules, au sein de professions à domination clairement masculines.
 

The girl that built her own house: “I don’t have to ask someone else to do it for me”

Kamilah Morain's picture
Also available in: Français

In Haiti, recruiting young women to train for what has traditionally been perceived as predominantly masculine disciplines is a challenging task. Our team discovered that many families wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to educate their daughters, yet they were hesitant because the training being offered was in non-traditional roles.

These female students were going to learn professions attributed to tradesmen such as masonry, carpentry, heavy machinery maneuvering, plumbing and electrical wiring. Fathers and especially mothers were fiercely opposed to having their daughters do this type of work but for different reasons.

Fathers often asked the question: “Why you don’t teach them to do something more respectable, more suited for a girl, to be a secretary, or work in a hospital?” Mothers countered the idea with safety concerns, afraid that their daughters could become easy targets for unscrupulous men in what are clearly male dominated professions.

Bringing Down Gender Barriers: Testimony of a Colombian Bus Driver

Isabelle Schaefer's picture
Also available in: Español

When I met Juliette Cadavid, I was immediately impressed with her energy and her smile. I was in Pereira, in the coffee zone of Colombia, filming a video on the mass transportation system of the city, Megabus, supported by a World Bank project.

But when Juliette told me her story, how she was the only woman to drive one of the larger buses (articulados) of the Megabus system (she says there are two more women driving smaller buses), how her career in the public transportation world started and how she carried on with faith and work till she landed a job in an urban transportation system, I told myself that this was a story I wanted to share.

With her urge to achieve her goals, she reminded me of the documentary Girl Rising, and how women face challenges in a world of men, but with the hope that they can overcome them.

As World Bank reports show, women have been key to poverty reduction in Latin America: more than 70 million of them joined the labor force in the last 20 years, and their income, on its own, has reduced extreme poverty by 30%. But there are still many barriers and inequalities concerning the type of work, or salary.

Juliette is one of these women who have been able to overcome challenges and stereotypes, and has managed to make her dream come true.

Listen to her story:
 

Bringing Down Gender Barriers: Testimony of a Colombian Bus Driver

 

 

 

Is organic food more expensive to produce? Fact or fiction

Mary L. González's picture
Also available in: Español

My work with small-hold cocoa farmers in Nicaragua has taught me that it is not true that organic production is more expensive, complicated to learn and unsustainable.
 
The Sustainable Agroforestry Cocoa Production Project (COCOA-RAAN) was implemented within the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic, the largest in Nicaragua, with a budget of just US$ 1.9 million.  
 

Colombia: the cup of coffee that changed the life of a whole community

Willem Janssen's picture

También disponible en español

Last Friday was International Women’s Day, but before adding to the general celebratory messages in cyberspace, I would like to tell you about a specific case that truly deserves to be celebrated.

If you are reading this blog while drinking coffee or after a coffee break, this story has to do with you.

A laboratory for peace in a small Colombian village

Isabelle Schaefer's picture

También disponible en español

The Montes de María, between the departments of Sucre and Bolivar in the north of Colombia, has been the stage for violent conflict for a long time. In this region, people can't trust their neighbors, poverty is common and opportunities scarce.

In 2004 , the program “Paz y Desarrollo” (Peace and Development) of the Colombian government, co-financed by the World Bank, began to support civil society initiatives to achieve local development and build peace.

Latin American women driving region’s prosperity

Joao Pedro Azevedo's picture

Also available in Portuguese, Spanish

Women are increasingly becoming Latin America's critical development partners. Moms, students, working professionals, women from all walks of life, are a driving force behind a gender revolution that has made huge contributions to our region's prosperity.

Over the last decade, Latin American countries have made big strides in reducing poverty and bringing down inequality. And much of that progress, we now know, can be credited to women. So much so that, had there not been so many women in the workforce, extreme poverty in the region in 2010 would have been 30 percent higher. Something similar can be said about the region's recent inroads against persistent inequality, as highlighted in Poverty and Labor Brief: The Effect of Women's Economic Power in Latin America and the Caribbean.

From homemakers to heroines: Guatemalan women promote local development

Robert Valls's picture

También disponible en español,

 How much is a jar of jam worth? A couple of pesos, at most. But for a group of women from a remote Guatemalan village, it’s worth its weight in gold. It has helped them develop as individuals and has made a significant contribution to their income and that of their community.

With a sweet voice that cracks with emotion, Blanca Estela, a single mother of four, tells us that making jam marked a turning point in her life. She is one of 30 women from Nueva Esperanza, a company that makes jams and sauces in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala. The company has helped the women become independent in a society that continues to be patriarchal. It has also promoted local economic growth.

When I visited the women to make this video, they told me that the Rural Economic Development Program supported by the World Bank enabled them to open new markets and increase their earnings. “This is the dream of a lifetime. We’ve been able to develop as individuals and as businesswomen,” says Esperanza. It has turned these rural homemakers into businesswomen. They now serve as an example for the rest of the women and men in the village.

 

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