Ciudad Mujer Centers will provide services in prevention and response to violence, economic self-sufficiency, sexual and reproductive health, education, and child care
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to help El Salvador finance the Ciudad Mujer (Women City) Program to be carried out by its Ministry of Social Inclusion to improve the lives of low-income women. The program seeks to offer essential services, such as health services with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, treatment and prevention of gender-based violence, vocational and business skills training, promotion of women´s rights, and childcare. The centers are to be strategically located in 12 areas across the country.
The first center, located in Lourdes-Colón, in the department of Libertad, was officially inaugurated on March 28 of this year with presence of Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director and Under-Secretary General of UN Women and was also recently visited by Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States. This center was built with national funds.
The IDB loan of $20 million with national counterpart financing for $9.2 million will finance the expansion of Ciudad Mujer, including the construction and adaptation of six additional Ciudad Mujer Centers. The IDB’s technical assistance in the project will also include a rigorous monitoring and evaluation plan designed to improve the delivery of services offered by Ciudad Mujer over time and thereby maximize their impact.
By delivering key services to women, the project addresses crucial development issues. Violence against women affects almost half the female population in El Salvador, and 82 women die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births. Salvadoran women, on average, earn only 57 percent of what men earn.
With the successful implementation of this project, the IDB hopes to demonstrate a modality for the provision of essential social services for women which could be replicated in other countries in the region.
Gender equality is a key priority in the IDB’s work. The IDB recently approved its new Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development, positioning itself to be a strong partner for its member countries to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in a comprehensive way.The new gender policy went into effect as of May 1st. It is accompanied by a Gender Action Plan for Operations (GAP) that guides the implementation and monitoring of the policy.
The IDB loan of $20 million is extended for a term of 25 years, a grace period of 5 years, and a disbursement period of 5 years.