Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening Women’s Institutions in Guatemala
Project ID:00067146Description:MDGF-1660-B-GTM Gender
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 11 Sep 2007
MDGF Gender Equal & Empowermt
End Date*: 31 Aug 2011
Country: Guatemala Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


Guatemala is a signatory to various instruments for protecting women’s human rights, among them the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women and the American Convention on Human Rights.

In order to meet these international commitments, the “Política Nacional de Promoción y Desarrollo de las Mujeres Guatemaltecas” and its “Plan de Equidad de Oportunidades 2001-2006” (National Policy for the Promotion and Development of Guatemalan Women and its Plan for Equal Opportunity, known respectively as PNPDMG and PEO) were published in 2001 by the Secretaria Presidencial de la Mujer (SEPREM) (Presidential Secretariat for Women).

Nevertheless, significant advances in the status of women, particularly indigenous and rural women, have been impeded by the fact that this Policy and its accompanying Plan have not been incorporated institutionally into the government bodies and their implementation has been limited at all levels.

Now that the Policy’s period of validity has come to an end, the evaluation that is currently being carried out concludes that the main obstacles to institutionalizing and implementing it were, among other factors, scant participation by some government bodies in the design process, high turnover of personnel, weak follow-up and evaluation systems and a lack of political will to assign priority to the policy.

The 2007 Policy update incorporates the strategic alliance of SEPREM and DEMI (Defensoría de la Mujer Indígena, Office for the Defence of Indigenous Women), and the purpose of this Joint United Nations Programme was to support its institutionalization and implementation over the next three years by strengthening capabilities at the three governmental levels and in civil society. 


Outcome 1:

Strengthening the Presidential Secretariat for Women, the Ombudsman for Indigenous Women and the mechanisms of local government for the advancement of women, facilitating the integration of the National Policy and Development of Guatemalan Women and its Implementation Plan 2008-2012 in the planning and budgeting at state institutions at national and local levels.

Outcome achievements:

Output 1.1: the Presidential Secretariat for Women, SEPREM, and the Defence of Indigenous Women, DEMI, has been strengthened allowing the integration of the National Policy of Promotion of the women of Guatemala  in the state agencies plans and  budgets, both nationally and locally.

  •  12 joint strategies DEMI_SEPREM have been developed to institutionalize the Policy: 1 Departmental strategy, 1 DEMI strategy, 7 coordination instances with local governments and women's organizations, 3 lobbying/coordination instances with the three state institutions.


Outcome 2:

Strategies to move forward in the implementation of the global axes of the National Policy on the Promotion and Development of Guatemalan Women and its Implementation Plan 2008-2012 for the eradication of violence , discrimination and racism against women, economic and productive development with equity, and equity in social and political participation, are designed and implemented by the relevant  main institutions of central government and local governments.

Outcome achievements:

Output 2.1   women, girls and adolescents, especially indigenous and rural women, have greater access to comprehensive, multisectoral, culturally and ethno-linguistic relevant services to prevent and respond to violence, discrimination and racism against them.

  • 18 proposals and initiatives (12 more than the 6 estimated) for the harmonization of national legal framework for the elimination of violence, discrimination and racism against women have been developed and 10 have been approved during the legislative period 2008-2011.
  • 29.355 Indian girls teens and women have been sensitized on prevention of violence against women (100% over the 70% estimated target).
  • 10 instances (over the 7 estimated) have been created to design and implement intersectoral strategies in addressing violence, discrimination and racism against women at local level.
  • 840 civil servants working in the health and justice sectors have been sensitized and trained in dealing with violence, racism and discrimination against women in national and local levels.
  • An information system on violence against women has been developed at national level.

Output 2.2: women positioning has improved in the economy especially indigenous and rural women through specific policies and services in support of female entrepreneurship processes.

  • 74 initiatives have been submitted by CSEM Business Service Centers in support of female entrepreneurship processes.
  • 7 business service centers for women (out of the estimated 4) created.
  • 69 diagnoses and studies on the women’s economic potential and their contribution to the economy were prepared??.
  • 135 self-sustainable women initiatives were developed within the program.
  • 1,000 women were trained and their capacities in female entrepreneurship strengthened.

Output 2.3: An increased number of women, especially indigenous and rural women, participate in decision-making processes in the social, political and economic fields, at municipal, departmental and national levels.

  • At local level 180 women have been trained in politics and have been linked to new decision-making spaces in their villages.
  • 38 initiatives of law or law reforms to harmonize national legislation in compliance with the rights of women were submitted and 17 have been introduced in the National System of Public Investment.
  • 16 mechanisms and / or joint spaces at national and local levels were established to monitor the legislative agenda: 612 women's organizations have participated in the verification process of the legislation for the advancement of women’s implementation.
  • 65 municipal women offices have been created and / or strengthened by SEPREM, exceeding 100% of the estimate.
  • 3.856 women were documented and registered in the census to strengthen their citizen participation
  • 7.343 Indigenous women have been trained on their sociopolitical rights (147% over  the estimated target)
  • 2 training strategies on women’s rights and indigenous women have been established in the political sphere.

Output 2.4: a national monitoring and evaluation system to measure the institutionalization and implementation of the Policy by the relevant governmental institutions at national and local level has been strengthened.

  • 1 monitoring and evaluation system set up and functional in SEPREM.
  • 1 monitoring and evaluation system designed for DEMI.
  • 3 information systems with gender and ethnicity indicators for monitoring the Policy established.
  • 222 women involved in the 7 departments of intervention in social auditing processes on the Policy institutionalization and implementation.

Lessons learned:

  • UN agency coordination. Coordination within the government.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Guatemala or the lead agency for the programme.

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