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Guatemala

Acceso de mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el território y los recursos naturales em América Latina y el Caribe

Citation:

Velásquez Nimatuj, Irma A. 2018. Acceso de mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el território y los recursos naturales em América Latina y el Caribe. Guatemala: Oficina Regional de ONU Mujeres para las Américas y el Caribe; La Paz: Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y el Caribe (FILAC).

Author: Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El “Acceso de las mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el territorio y los recursos naturales en América Latina y el Caribe”, elaborado por la Antropóloga Maya K’ichee’, Doctora y Maestra en Antropología Social Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj, ofrece una panorámica regional sobre la temática junto con casos de estudio y recomendaciones clave. Su elaboración se enmarca en el trabajo de colaboración entre la Oficina Regional de ONU Mujeres para las Américas y el Caribe, y el Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y el Caribe (FILAC), para promover el pleno ejercicio de los derechos de las mujeres indígenas.
El documento ofrece, en primer lugar, un análisis sobre los significados que tienen la tierra, el territorio y los recursos naturales para las mujeres indígenas, seguido de una descripción del estado actual y el marco legal internacional y de derechos de las mujeres indígenas. En segundo lugar describe once casos de estudio de acceso a la tierra, territorios y recursos naturales de las mujeres nasa yuwe (páez) de Colombia, las mujeres mapuches de Chile, las mujeres zapatistas de Chiapas, México, las mujeres indígenas de Paraguay, las mujeres maya-q´eqchi´ de Lote Ocho de Guatemala, las mujeres miskitas de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua, las mujeres térraba (teribe o broran) de Costa Rica, el proyecto “mujeres indígenas y gobernanza de la tierra” de ONAMIAP de Perú, las mujeres gunas o kuna de Panamá, las mujeres guaraníes del Chaco boliviano, y las mujeres garífunas de la Costa Caribeña de Honduras. Seguidamente ofrece una descripción sobre los retos que enfrentan las mujeres indígenas para gozar de sus derechos de acceso a la tierra, territorios y recursos naturales, así como una serie de buenas prácticas y recomendaciones. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America Countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru

Year: 2018

Tierra para nosotras: Propuestas políticas de las mujeres rurales centroamericanas para el acceso a la tierra

Citation:

Red Centroamericana de Mujeres Rurales Indígenas y Campesinas (RECMURIC). 2015. Tierra para nosotras: Propuestas políticas de las mujeres rurales centroamericanas para el acceso a la tierra. Ciudad de Guatemala: RECMURIC.

Author: Red Centroamericana de Mujeres Rurales Indígenas y Campesinas (RECMURIC)

Annotation:

Resumen:
"Más de diez millones de mujeres rurales viven en El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua conjuntamente. La mayoría son mujeres campesinas e indígenas que cada día trabajan más de quince horas para asegurar la subsistencia y la alimentación de sus familias, desempeñando un papel fundamental en las frágiles economías rurales de la región. Ellas atienden los huertos familiares, alimentan a los animales, siembran, cosechan y procesan el maíz, recogen la leña, buscan el agua, cuidan de niños y mayores, participan en comités vecinales y a menudo complementan los ingresos familiares con distintos trabajos fuera del hogar.
 
Son las mujeres quienes se ocupan de producir los alimentos básicos para el hogar, y además de asumir tareas clave en las explotaciones familiares han diversificado la producción en sus patios con el fin de producir para el mercado local. Este valioso aporte productivo se suma a las responsabilidades de cuidado de la familia y la participación comunitaria; una triple tarea no remunerada ni tampoco reconocida a pesar de ser esencial para la sobrevivencia familiar, la cohesión social y el bienestar comunitario.
 
El papel de las mujeres rurales como productoras agrícolas no es visible, a pesar de su importantísima contribución a las economías locales y a la seguridad y soberanía alimentaria. El último censo agropecuario de Nicaragua, por ejemplo, apenas contabilizaba 61,000 mujeres productoras agrícolas respecto a una población total de 1,100,000 mujeres rurales.
 
Las cuentas nacionales y las estadísticas de empleo tampoco incluyen en sus cálculos el aporte económico de las mujeres ni las consideran población ocupada. En toda la región de América Latina, de 58 millones de mujeres rurales sólo 17 millones son reconocidas como parte de la población económicamente activa. Esto tiene graves implicaciones cuando tratan de optar a programas estatales de adjudicación de tierras o de fomento productivo" (RECMURIC 2015, 8-9).
 
Tabla de Contenidos:
Prólogo
Introducción 
Resumen ejecutivo
1. Las mujeres y la tierra
1.1 Mujeres, tierra y poder
1.2 Mujeres, tierra y soberanía alimentaria
1.3 Mujeres invisibles
 
2. El acceso de las mujeres a la tierra en Centroamérica
2.1 Reformas Agrarias con exclusión de género
2.2 Las mujeres rurales centroamericanas y el acceso a la tierra
2.3 Barreras de acceso a la tierra para las mujeres centroamericana
 
3. Análisis por país
3.1 Guatemala
Concentración de la tierra en Guatemala
La brecha de género en acceso a la tierra en Guatemala
Barreras culturales, legales e institucionales
Fontierras y las reglas de exclusión no escritas
3.2 Nicaragua
Reforma y Contrarreforma Agraria en Nicaragua
Brecha de género en el acceso a la tierra en Nicaragua
El Programa Hambre Cero o la oportunidad perdida
Barreras legales e institucionales
3.3 El Salvador
Acceso a la tierra en El Salvador
La brecha de género en el acceso a la tierra en El Salvador
Barreras legales e institucionales
3.4 Honduras
Reforma agraria en Honduras y exclusión de las mujeres
Barreras que impiden el acceso de las mujeres a la tierra en Honduras
 
4. Conclusión: Acabar con la desigualdad
 
5. Propuestas de la RECMURIC para que las mujeres campesinas
e indígenas centroamericanas ejerzan su derecho a la tierra
5.1 Propuestas dirigidas a los Estados Centroamericanos
5.2 Propuestas dirigidas al Gobierno de Guatemala
5.3 Propuestas dirigidas al Gobierno de Nicaragua
5.4 Propuestas dirigidas al Gobierno de El Salvador
5.5 Propuestas dirigidas al Gobierno de Honduras 
5.6 Propuestas dirigidas al Sistema de Integración Centroamericana
Bibliografía
Siglas y acrónimos
Anexo 1: Síntesis del marco legal relacionado con el acceso de las mujeres a la tierra
Anexo 2: Indicadores estadísticos 
Anexo 3: Marco metodológico del estudio 

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

Year: 2015

Women, Gender Equality, and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons Learned, Implications for the Future

Citation:

Kaufman, Joyce P., and Kristen P. Williams, eds. 2019. Women, Gender Equality, and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons Learned, Implications for the Future. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Joyce P. Kaufman, Kristen P. Williams

Abstract:

Summary:
The end of formal hostilities in any given conflict provides an opportunity to transform society in order to secure a stable peace. This book builds on the existing feminist international relations literature as well as lessons of past cases that reinforce the importance of including women in the post-conflict transition process, and are important to our general understanding of gender relations in the conflict and post-conflict periods. Post-conflict transformation processes, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs, transitional justice mechanisms, reconciliation measures, and legal and political reforms, which emerge after the formal hostilities end demonstrate that war and peace impact, and are impacted by, women and men differently. By drawing on a strong theoretical framework and a number of cases, this volume provides important insight into questions pertaining to the end of conflict and the challenges inherent in the post-conflict transition period that are relevant to students and practitioners alike. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Women Living in a Gendered World
Laura Sjoberg
 
2. The Aftermath of War: Considering Gender in the Process of Disarmament, Demilitarization and Reintegration
Fionnuala Ni Aolain
 
3. Imagined Peace, Gender Relations and Post-Conflict Transformation: Anti-Colonial and Post-Cold War Conflicts
Jane L. Parpart
 
4. The Gender Politics of Negotiating and Renegotiating the Peace in Northern Ireland
Fidelma Ashe and Carmel Roulston
 
5. Bosnia, Women, and Gender in a Post-Dayton World
Kristen P. Williams
 
6. Perpetuating a Gendered Peace? Exploring Gender Mainstreaming in Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) in Liberia
Helen S. A. Basini
 
7. Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration and the Poetics of Slavery in Sierra Leone
Megan H. MacKenzie
 
8. Women, Apartheid and the TRC: The Impact of Apartheid on Women in South Africa, Plus 20 Years
Joyrce P. Kaufman
 
9. Engendering Peace: Divergent Post-Conflict Processes for Women in Guatemala and El Salvador
Kara Ellerby
 
10. Conclusions
Joyce P. Kaufman and Kristen P. Williams

Topics: DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Race, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala

Citation:

Tarnaala, Elisa. 2019. “Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala.” Peacebuilding 7 (1): 103–17.

Author: Elisa Tarnaala

Abstract:

This article examines the historically grounded social acceptance of impunity and the role of unwanted actors in peace and transitional processes. The article argues from a post-demobilization violence perspective that counter-democratic developments, which have historical and global roots, condition peacebuilding and impose important limits on the deepening of inclusion. In Colombia and Guatemala, internationally backed peacebuilding activities occurred in the same regions where the local authorities continued their partnership with criminal and authoritarian actors. Thus, parallel to the shift towards greater political and economic stability at the national level, attacks against human rights activists and environmental activists, intra-community violence, violence against women, prostitution and the trafficking of girls continued at the local level and in some areas increased.

Keywords: Colombia, Guatemala, demobilization, women, violence, historical legacies

Topics: DDR, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Colombia, Guatemala

Year: 2019

The Case for Women's Participation in Security

Citation:

Bigio, Jamille, and Rachel Vogelstein. 2016. How Women's Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution Advances U.S. Interests. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 3-16.

Authors: Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Despite the historical exclusion of women from negotiating tables and security apparatuses, the evidence of women’s contributions to conflict prevention and resolution is growing. Several empirical analyses confirm that women offer unique, substantive, and measurable contributions to securing and keeping peace. Evidence shows that security efforts are more successful and sustainable when women contribute to prevention and early warning, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and postconflict resolution and rebuilding. A qualitative evaluation of women’s influence in recent peace processes—notably in Guatemala (1996), Northern Ireland (1998), Liberia (2003), and the Philippines (2014)— further illustrates the critical role that women can play in resolving conflict and promoting stability” (Bigio and Vogelstein 2016, 3).

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Guatemala, Liberia, Philippines, United Kingdom

Year: 2016

Accompanying Maya Women: Armed Resistance and Transitional Justice Struggles

Citation:

Lykes, M. Brinton. 2019. "Accompanying Maya Women: Armed Resistance and Transitional Justice Struggles." Social Justice 46 (1): 49-64.

Author: M. Brinton Lykes

Annotation:

Summary:
"Those of us who position ourselves as “intermediaries” (Merry 2006), grounded in international human rights norms and feminist transnational activist scholarship in partnership with local women and children working at the grassroots, contribute in particular ways to feminist peacemaking and peacebuilding. Over 25 years ago, having completed a PhD in community-cultural psychology and while teaching university students in the Global North, I responded positively to an invitation from a Maya Ixil woman, whom I had worked with when she was in exile in Mexico, to facilitate a workshop with women in a rural town in the Guatemalan Highlands. I had been training community-based health promoters—mostly men—during my summer breaks from university teaching, and I was eager to experience a rural community and work with women. Since then, I have returned annually, living and working with Maya women and children in contexts of war and postgenocide transitions. I draw on some of these experiences of coconstructing knowledge(s) from the bottom up as one small contribution to a collective feminist/womanist1 effort to build the more equitable, just, and peaceful world in which we seek to live" (Lykes 2019).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Genocide, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2019

Mainstreaming Gender in European Union Transitional Justice Policy: Towards a Transformative Approach?

Citation:

de Almagro, Maria Martin. 2019. "Mainstreaming Gender in European Union Transitional Justice Policy: Towards a Transformative Approach?" In Gender Roles in Peace and Security, edited by Manuela Scheuermann and Anja Zurn, 149-64. Cham: Springer.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro

Abstract:

The European Parliament awarded its prestigious Sakharov Prize in October 2016 to two Iraqi Yazidi women who were held as sex slaves by Islamic State militias. Some months before, the ICC issued its landmark conviction of Jean Pierre Bemba for his responsibility as commander-in-chief for sexual and gender-based violence carried out by his troops in the Central African Republic in May 2016. Both events are evidence of the increasing awareness at the EU, and internationally, of the need to amplify women’s experiences of violence and their claims to justice. In Guatemala, for example, a court recently convicted two former military officers of crimes against humanity for having enslaved, raped and sexually abused 11 indigenous Q’eqchi’ women at the Sepur Zarco military base during the armed conflict in Guatemala.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Organizations, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Central African Republic, Guatemala, Iraq

Year: 2019

Gender-Aware and Place-Based Transitional Justice in Guatemala: Altering the Opportunity Structures for Post-Conflict Women's Mobilization

Citation:

Destrooper, Tine, and Stephan Parmentier. 2018. "Gender-Aware and Place-Based Transitional Justice in Guatemala: Altering the Opportunity Structures for Post-Conflict Women's Mobilization." Social & Legal Studies 27 (3): 323-44.

Authors: Tine Destrooper, Stephan Parmentier

Abstract:

Place-based approaches to transitional justice, which foreground victim participation, have become increasingly popular in the last decade. The assumption is that these approaches enhance legitimacy, increase the local relevance of interventions, and empower victims. However, the causal mechanisms by which this alleged empowerment takes place, are not usually studied in great detail. This article examines whether altering the opportunity structures of (germinal) civil society organizations is one of the ways by which this empowering effect might take hold. The authors argue that in Guatemala, the transitional justice process, and in particular the truth commission, did indeed significantly alter the opportunity structures of grassroots indigenous women’s groups, most notably by providing these groups with support to develop their own agenda and with access to ‘elite allies’. Yet the fieldwork performed hitherto would also advise against treating localized and participatory approaches to transitional justice as a panacea, for even if a genuine bottom-up approach is promising, the ongoing institutionalization of the field of transitional justice makes adequate implementation of such an approach difficult; and especially in cases where victims face intersectional discrimination positive effects may be slow to materialize.

Keywords: civil society, Guatemala, localization, place-based interventions, 'transitional justice', women's movements

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2018

Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia

Citation:

Sachs, Carolyn E., ed. 2019. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Carolyn E. Sachs

Annotation:

Summary:
This book presents research from across the globe on how gender relationships in agriculture are changing.
 
In many regions of the world, agricultural transformations are occurring through increased commodification, new value-chains, technological innovations introduced by CGIAR and other development interventions, declining viability of small-holder agriculture livelihoods, male out-migration from rural areas, and climate change. This book addresses how these changes involve fluctuations in gendered labour and decision making on farms and in agriculture and, in many places, have resulted in the feminization of agriculture at a time of unprecedented climate change. Chapters uncover both how women successfully innovate and how they remain disadvantaged when compared to men in terms of access to land, labor, capital and markets that would enable them to succeed in agriculture. Building on case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia, the book interrogates how new agricultural innovations from agricultural research, new technologies and value chains reshape gender relations.
 
Using new methodological approaches and intersectional analyses, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of agriculture, gender, sustainable development and environmental studies more generally. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents
1. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations
Carolyn Sachs
 
2. The Implications of Gender Relations for Modern Approaches to Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding
Jacqueline Ashby and Vivian Polar
 
3. Change in the Making: 1970s and 1980s Building Stones to Gender Integration in CGIAR Agricultural Research
Margreet van der Burg
 
4. How to Do Gender Research? Feminist Perspectives on Gender Research in Agriculture
Ann R. Tickamyer and Kathleen Sexsmith
 
5. Intersectionality at the Gender-Agriculture Nexus: Relational Life Histories and Additative Sex-Disaggregated Indices
Stephanie Leder and Carolyn Sachs
 
6. Diversity of Small-Scale Maize Farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala: Integrating Gender into Farm Typologies
Tania Carolina Camacho-Villa, Luis Barba-Escoto, Juan Burgueño-Ferreira, Ann Tickamyer, Leland Glenna, and Santiago López-Ridaura
 
7. "A Bird Locked in a Cage:" Hmong Young Women’s Lives After Marriage in Northern Vietnam
Nozomi Kawarazuka, Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Vu Xuan Thai and Pham Huu Thuong
 
8. Defeminizing Effect: How Improved Dairy Technology Adoption Affected Women's and Men's Time Allocation and Milk Income Share in Ethiopia
Birhanu Megersa Lenjiso
 
9. Implementing "Gender Equity" in Livestock Interventions: Caught between Patriarchy and Paternalism?
Katie Tavenner and Todd A. Crane
 
10. Implications of Agricultural Innovations on Gender Norms: Gender Approaches in Aquatic Agriculture in Bangladesh
Lemlem Aregu, Afrina Choudhury, Surendran Rajaratnam, Margreet van der Burg, and Cynthia McDougall
 
11. Permanently Seasonal Workers: Gendered Labor Relations and Working Conditions of Asparagus Agricultural Workers in Ica, Perú
María del Rosario Castro Bernardini
 
12. Gender Equality and Trees on Farms: Considerations for Implementation of Climate-Smart Agriculture
Tatiana Gumucio, Diksha Arora, Jennifer Twyman, Ann Tickamyer, and Monica Clavijo
 
13. Kinship Structures, Gender, and Groundnut Productivity in Malawi
Edward Bikketi, Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Leif Jensen, and Edna Johnny
 
14. Changes in Participation of Women in Rice Value Chains: Implications for Control over Decision-Making
Sujata Ganguly, Leif Jensen, Samarendu Mohanty, Sugandha Munshi, Arindam Samaddar, Swati Nayak, and Prakashan Cehllattan Veettil

Topics: Class, Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, Central America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, Peru, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Aftermath: Women and Women’s Organizations In Postconflict Societies: The Role of International Assistance

Citation:

Kumar, Krishna. 2001. Aftermath: Women and Women’s Organizations In Postconflict Societies: The Role of International Assistance. 28. U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC.

Author: Krishna Kumar

Annotation:

Summary: 
Since the end of the Cold War, intrastate conflicts have increased worldwide. Poverty, the struggle for scarce resources, declining standards of living, ethnic rivalries and divisions, political repression by authoritarian governments, and rapid social and economic modernization—all these factors contribute to intrastate conflicts. All intrastate conflicts share a set of common characteristics that have major implications for women and gender relations. First, the belligerent parties deliberately inflict violence on civilian populations. Second, the intrastate conflicts displace substantial numbers of people, mostly women and children. Third, women’s participation in war contributes to the redefinition of their identities and traditional roles. Fourth, there is usually a conscious attempt to destroy the supporting civilian infrastructure, leading to increased poverty and starvation. Finally, these conflicts leave among the belligerent groups within the countries a legacy of bitterness, hatred, and anger that is difficult to heal.

Both men and women suffer from such conflicts. This study examines specifically the effects on women in six casestudy countries: Cambodia, Bosnia, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, and Rwanda. It looks as well at the rise of indigenous women’s organizations—their role, their impact, their future. Teams from USAID’s Center for Development Information and Evaluation visited those countries during 1999. They found the effects of war on women to fall into three broad categories: Social and psychological. Women often were traumatized by the conflict. After the hostilities, many feared for their physical safety. During the early phases of postconflict transition, unemployed militia continued to pose a serious threat to the lives and property of women and children. Fear of violence and sexual abuse (rape had actually been used as a tool of war, to subjugate, humiliate, terrorize) often kept women from moving about freely. Abject conditions in many postconflict societies contributed to the growth of prostitution.

Economic. A major problem was lack of property rights. Women were denied ownership of land their dead husbands or parents had owned. Rural women who owned no land or other assets worked as laborers or sharecroppers, at minimal wages. Urban women carved out livings mostly by selling foods and household items. During conflict, women could work in many occupations. As ex-combatants returned to civilian life, though, female workers were the first to lose their jobs.

Political. In the absence of men, all six countries witnessed an expansion of women’s public roles during the conflict. Women volunteered in churches, schools, hospitals, and private charities. They often took charge of political institutions, enhancing their political skills—and raising their expectations.

The conflicts created a ripe environment for the emergence or growth of women’s organizations. For one thing, the wars undermined the traditional social order; women found it easier to take part in public affairs. Moreover, governmental reforms after the wars created political space to launch women’s organizations. Another factor was disillusionment. During or in the immediate aftermath of the wars, women’s expectations of increased political participation had risen. Those expectations were never fully realized. Finally, the readiness of the international community to provide assistance to such organizations contributed to their growth.

In the case-study countries, women’s organizations have been active in virtually all sectors: social, educational, economic, political. They have established health clinics, provided reproductive health care, organized mass vaccination programs. They have carried out programs to generate income and employment for women, emphasizing microcredit and vocational training. They have grappled with domestic violence, prostitution, and the plight of returning refugees and internally displaced women. And they have promoted democracy and human rights, supported social reconciliation, and worked to increase women’s participation in political affairs.

International assistance has been important to the development of women’s organizations—and will be far into the foreseeable future. Beyond financial support, international bodies have helped indigenous women acquire managerial, accounting, and technical skills. International assistance has also helped legitimize women’s organizations, for example by sheltering them from government interference.

Attending the emergence of women’s organizations is an array of obstacles. They are social and cultural, imposed from without, and organizational, imposed from within. Chief among the former is women’s low social status. At the family, community, and national levels, women confront a lack of support for their public activities. Another outside encumbrance is the short-term nature of international assistance, which prevents long-term planning. Chief among internal obstacles is the reluctance of women leaders to delegate authority and to train junior staff for future leadership. There is, moreover, a lack of communication and sharing among organizations.

The six individual CDIE country evaluations yielded a number of recommendations aimed at making assistance to women’s organizations more effective. Among them: 
1. Build on women’s economic and political gains. Because the postconflict era provides an opening to build on the progress made by women during conflict, it makes sense for USAID to continue to capitalize on this opportunity. 
2. Pay greater attention to civilian security. USAID can assume a leadership role in publicizing the problem of civilian security and the need for concerted action to protect women. The Agency can also encourage other organizations to carry out programs that can enhance physical security for women.
3. Make concerted efforts with the rest of the international community to prevent sexual abuse of women. Measures might include protecting witnesses, training international peacekeepers in gender issues, and promoting more women to international judicial posts.
4. Promote microcredit. USAID should support microcredit programs but not ignore their limitations. They are not cures for all economic problems facing women in postconflict societies.
5. Support property rights for women. USAID should continue supporting property-rights reforms affecting women. This should include not only constitutional and legislative reforms but also their effective implementation.
6. Consider multiyear funding. The assurance of assistance for periods longer than 6–9 months will help build institutional capacity and boost staff morale.
7. Promote sustainability of women’s organizations. USAID could provide technical assistance, when necessary, to improve management; consider funding a portion of core costs, in addition to program costs, for a limited period; and help organizations become self-reliant by such means as improving skills in advocacy, fundraising, networking, and coalition.
8. Promote greater women’s participation in elections. USAID should consider steps to encourage political parties to field women candidates and assist women candidates on a nonpartisan basis.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Governance, Elections, Health, Trauma, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Rwanda

Year: 2001

Pages

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