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First Lady Michelle Obama visits project to benefit women in San Salvador

IDB to finance the construction of six Ciudad Mujer centers to be established by the Social Inclusion Secretariat

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – As part of United States President Barak Obama’s official visit to Latin America, First Lady Michelle Obama together with Salvadoran First Lady and Minister of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato, visited the first of what is to be 12 centers of the Ciudad Mujer project.

The center is located Lourdes, Colón, in the department of Libertad.Ciudad Mujer is an initiative supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and carried out by the Salvadoran Ministry of Social Inclusion of El Salvador. The project seeks to improve living conditions of women through a comprehensive approach that includes the promotion of women's rights.

Michelle Obama visited facilities that will provide services in prevention and response to violence, economic self-sufficiency, sexual and reproductive health, education, and child care.

Participating in the visit was the IDB representative in El Salvador, Rodrigo Parot, and the chief of the Bank’s Gender and Diversity Unit, Andrew Morrison, in addition to officials from the Ministry of Social Inclusion.

The IDB is a key partner in the implementation of the six Ciudad Mujer centers, which will be funded by a Bank loan of US$20 million and national counterpart financing for US$9.2 million. The project will also provide technical assistance for improving the quality of services and the incorporation of a rigorous impact evaluation.

"Ciudad Mujer is a bold and intelligent bet,” said the IDB’s Morrison. “It is an investment in improving the ability of Salvadoran women to contribute to national development.

"When I had the idea to develop Ciudad Mujer, I had only one purpose in mind: to recognize the specific needs of women,” said Pignato. “My main objective was to provide visibility to women and their rights in the formulation of public policy, and demonstrate that diversity and the differences between men and women are factors that enrich our country," she said.

The center will be inaugurated March 28 in a ceremony that will include former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and several Latin American first ladies.

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