For centuries Central America has been marked by social unrest, violent conflicts and revolutions and the region remains today in a period of political transformation. Poverty, social injustice and violence are still widespread. The main issues that IM and partners in the region address are the weak democracy and unequal economy, violence as a hindrance for sustainable development, the shrinking space of the civil society and the discrimination of women and other vulnerable groups.
In Central America IM works with partners in El Salvador and Guatemala and with regional partners that cover the whole Central American region. The countries in the region share the same situation of economic inequality, concentration of political power/weak democracy and discrimination of the indigenous populations and vulnerable groups such as women, LGBTI and person with disabilities. Therefore, IM shares many of the programmes, objectives and activities for the whole region, covering economic and social inclusion and civic space.
The main objectives for the region
- Violence prevention
- SRHR – child and teenage pregnancies, sexual violence, gender-based violence, domestic violence
- Political participation of women and vulnerable groups
- Economic empowerment of women and vulnerable groups
- Building the capacities and skills of partner organizations to work against the shrinking space for the civil society.
There is a circle of poverty and violence in the region where women do not achieve autonomy over their bodies and lives, and their civic and political participation is limited. To break that circle IM works with adult and young women, with special emphasis on indigenous people, peasants, LGBTI and people with disabilities.
The purpose is for young and adult women to participate in empowerment and social mobilization processes to challenge existing patriarchal structures and shorten gender and poverty gaps. IM also works with young adults, both men and women, to counteract the high levels of conflict and the normalization of gender, environmental and socio-political violence.
I Central America IM supports a couple of projects involving several countries in the region. Together with IM Defensoras, a network of women human rights defenders, we are working to strengthen their presence in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. We also work regionally with Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in a program that deals with gender and masculinity.
Humanium Metal by IM
Central America is the pilot region for Humanium Metal by IM – an initiative where IM collaborates with governments and civil rights organizations to gain access to seized illegal weapons and melt them down into new raw material. The purpose is to focus on the increased global gun violence and at the same time create concrete change for people living in communities affected by violence and conflicts.