Monday, May 16, 2011

A step towards improving the lot of women

El Salvador's current government is focusing millions of development dollars on improving the situation of Salvadoran women. The program known as Ciudad Mujer is creating a series of regional centers which to address specific needs of poor women. An article in Hispanically Speaking News describes the program goals:

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to help El Salvador finance the Ciudad Mujer (Women City) Program to be carried out by its Ministry of Social Inclusion to improve the lives of low-income women. The program seeks to offer essential services, such as health services with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, treatment and prevention of gender-based violence, vocational and business skills training, promotion of women´s rights, and childcare. The centers are to be strategically located in 12 areas across the country....

By delivering key services to women, the project addresses crucial development issues. Violence against women affects almost half the female population in El Salvador, and 82 women die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births. Salvadoran women, on average, earn only 57 percent of what men earn.
Hopefully this well-intentioned program will make a difference. Violence against women is a serious problem which the country is only starting to address. Discrimination against women in employment is common according to the UN. Much needs to be done.

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