Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right – it’s a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. So says The United Nation is their Sustainable Development Goals.
# 5 of these UN goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Guatemala is a patriarchal society where decision-making as well as access to and control of social, political and economic resources in Ladino and Indigenous populations has traditionally been in the hands of men. Although Guatemala is the biggest economy in Central America, it has one of the highest inequality rates in Latin America, with some of the worst poverty, malnutrition and maternal-child mortality rates in the region, especially in rural and indigenous areas.
AgroAmerica is determined to address these issues with our workers and their families.
We believe in providing women with jobs and a living wage. These are our current statistics:
A Living Wage: AgroAmerica is the first company in Guatemala to conduct a study on what a living wage is. After implementing the Food Security and Nutritional Program: “Better Families” with employee´s wives, we discovered that mothers don’t have the necessary resources to apply what they learn in the program. This prompted us to do the Living Wage Study. What we learned allowed us to redefine our social investment and not only ensure a decent wage for our workers, but make it possible for their wives to improve the quality of life for their families.
Gender equality is about more than work – it also covers education and health care. Another way we address gender equality issues is through our mother-and-child program. The main objective of this program is to reduce mother-child mortality and to contribute to the healthy growth and development of children between birth and three years of age.
We work in partnership with the University of Colorado in the United States to provide technical assistance and training for women. AgroAmerica has a team of nurses, who specialize in community relations who co-ordinate, implement and monitor the program through home visits to monitor participating mothers and children and ensure the effectiveness of the program.