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Friday, January 15, 2010

El Salvador 2005 Journal VIII

Our next visit was to Concertacion des Mujeres – the Women’s Consensus Table. One of their slogans is “El Trabajo y la Salud son mis derechos, empleo si, pero con dignidad.” Work and health care, these are my rights; work yes, but with dignity. These women display a great determination to bring justice to a country where human rights remain a low priority.

The consensus table was formed at the suggestion of Development and Peace. They work on women’s issues and have made significant steps in developing public policy and increased civic participation by women.

In a country where the protection of human rights has always been lax, women’s rights are always at risk. The health and safety of women in this country are key issues of concern for this group. Women suffer from high rates of violence and abuse. As in many Latin American countries women have been marginalized. The Consensus Table works with women’s groups to develop leadership skills among community leaders. The group plays a key role in an increasing number of municipalities in the budget formation process.

In this way, the Consensus Table is working to develop policies that support positive change for women. Many women are subject to violence in El Salvador. Last year, over 200 women were killed by their partners. This is an alarming trend that is increasing. Girls and women have a higher illiteracy rate than men. It is important for communities to look for ways to support the education of these people.

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