El Salvador is a small, densely populated country that experienced a decade of civil war, after which a process of development ensued, including the diversification of exports and increasing access to services such as education and health care.
In El Salvador, where land ownership still remains a barrier for women, a rural women’s cooperative paves the way for income, access to public services and legal support. A child care facility run by the women enable them to work outside their homes.
Mercedes Sanchez de Garcia tenses when she remembers how her husband would stop her from participating in the women’s association of Las Piedritas, in a rural district in the eastern part of El Salvador: “’You’re not going there,’ he told me. ‘You have to look after the children. That’s what you’re here for.’”