Equal Measures 2030 Data Hub

El Salvador

Gender Equality Context in El Salvador

El Salvador has made significant strides to reduce poverty and inequality in recent decades. Income inequality in the country – measured by the Gini coefficient – declined by about 5 percentage points between 2007 and 2016, driven by income growth for the poorest 20%. This has made El Salvador the second most equal country in Latin America —though poverty rates remain high in rural areas.

These developments have had positive effects on girls’ and women’s health and livelihoods. Yet gender gaps persist in women’s political participation, employment, wages and financial inclusion, and other areas. High rates of violence, limited access to family planning, and the full criminalization of abortion under all circumstances (even when a woman’s life is at risk) continue to undermine women’s health and vital rights.

El Salvador has strong human rights frameworks for women and children, though implementation remains a challenge. Certain forms of discrimination against girls and women reflect significant gaps between policy and practice. The Special Comprehensive Law for a Life Free of Violence for Women was passed in 2011, but women still experience gender-based violence, as well as discrimination and hostility from authorities, especially the police and judicial system.

On average, 15 cases of sexual violence are reported in El Salvador every day mostly against young women, with statistics showing that 7 out of 10 women who experience sexual violence are under 20 years of age.

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030
Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Stories

From evidence to action: focus on GBV

As we mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, EM2030 seeks to share insights from its Global Advocates Survey on the issue of GBV.

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Paving the way for a new generation

Together with her mother, Laura pushes for progress on gender equality in El Salvador. She uses radio and video to share her opinions about child rights in her community.

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Empowered adolescents in El Salvador: “We need to know what must be done”

"I am the only girl in my community to go to high school, amongst a school of 300 students," says Yenifer.

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“Teenage pregnancy is an issue in our community. We must take away the taboos and social construct that undermines a girls’ right to choose. We started doing demonstrations and workshops to teach youth about their rights and the correct form of protection.”

Noveria, El Salvador

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“Gender equality is a huge topic in my community. We undervalue women and girls, so we must be educated and have the right to decide and express ourselves. Our mayor is a man, but why can’t it be a woman?”

Yenifer, El Salvador

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“When I was 12 years old I told my grandfather that I wanted to work and prove to everyone that I can do anything a man can do.”

Laura´s mother, El Salvador

Partner in El Salvador

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Until 2018, EM2030 partnered with Plan El Salvador. We are in the process of selecting a new partner for the second phase of the project.

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Equal Measures 2030 Partners