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“Time-saving technologies” to conciliate productive and re-productive work of rural, peasant and indigenous women in El Salvador

Lack of time is one of the hardest obstacles for women. Therefore, promoting the use of “t.s.t.” will improve their quality of life.

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Women are key agents of the development of their territories, since they play a catalytic role towards the achievement of transformational economic, environmental and social changes necessary for a sustainable development. That is why investing in their economic and personal empowerment is crucial to transform their own reality and that of their communities; therefore, achieving a more equalitarian society. The project proposal comes from an experience that UN Women implemented two years ago in the framework of the programme “Expanding economic opportunities for rural entrepreneurs women in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico”. Our idea is to empower women that live in rural areas and to improve their quality of life (prosperity) by using green and ecological “t.s.t.” (planet), which will help them to balance their productive tasks with their reproductive work (care and domestic work), to increase their autonomy and contribute to the eradication of gender based violence (peace). We will create synergies with projects of economic empowerment that are already working, to include the component of the “t.s. t.”. The use of “t.s.t.” has already been included in a former project of UN Women, and it had an excellent impact. “T.s.t.” will be identified along with the beneficiaries, in order to meet their real needs. The technologies we would like to promote can help women both in the domestic work and in their productive projects. Some of the “t.s.t.” identified as necessary in our former project were: bikes, to move faster to the work place and to carry children and work stuff; washing machines, to save time from the domestic work and firewood-saving stoves. The beneficiaries will also receive technical assistance. In this new phase of the project, we pretend to implement the same type of technologies and, at the same time, promote the use of others which facilitate the access to quality water (e.g. clay filters), green energy (e.g. solar panels) and safe transport.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The direct beneficiaries of the project will be 500 rural, peasant and indigenous women from the region of Sonsonate, Ahuachapán and Usulután, which are already involved in project aimed at economic empowerment implemented by our local partners. Indirect beneficiaries will be about 2,500 persons of their families (average: 5 persons per family). It should be noted that women which live in the rural area of El Salvador (in particularly indigenous women) suffer multiple type of discriminations, and they have limited access to economic resources and essential services. The communities of intervention have been strategically selected because of the presence of rural women networks or organizations existing in the territory, as well as the existence of economic empowerment projects implemented by our local partners. In this way, we can connect directly with our target group and involve them, in a participatory way, from the design of the project.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The most innovative feature of our proposal is the sinergy between economic empowerment and prevention of violence against women. Moreover, we are including a component of environmental sustainability. The general idea of the project has already been implemented and has a great potential of replicability. Our main goal is to develop and provide rural women with technologies for their practical and urgent needs. At the same time, we are considering the environmental fragility and insecurity of the target area. We are aware that economic empowerment is a long-term process; however, with the “t.s.t.” we can provide rural women of ES with tools that will have a direct impact in their quality of life. We pretend to create synergies with projects that are already working and that are aimed at the economic autonomy of women, a basic condition for their empowerment. If we contribute to the economic empowerment of women, we are supporting the construction of a more equalitarian society.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

UN Women is the UN Organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women worldwide.
UN Women : http://www.unwomen.org/en
UN Women ES Country Office(FB): https://www.facebook.com/onumujeressv/

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Mercedes tenses when she remembers how her husband would stop her from participating in the meeting organized by a women organization, in a rural district in the eastern part of El Salvador: “’You’re not going there, you have to look after the children”. Her life changed, when she starts to participate in the project implemented by UW. It is more difficult for an aggressor to continue committing aggressive acts against a woman who has been empowered and lives a life outside of the home.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In El Salvador, the main problems faced by rural women in the target territories are poverty, gender based violence, environmental vulnerability. To reduce the time that women spend in the domestic work and in moving from their home to their productive projects, we pretend to provide them with technologies which reduce the burden of the domestic and reproductive work, in the framework of the environmental protection. In this sense, provide them with clean or green energy sources (solar panels or wood-burning stoves), access to drinking water in their homes (home filters), time-saving domestic technologies (washing machines) environmentally friendly means of transport (bicycles) and others, can make a fundamental difference in their quality of life and in their possibilities for personal, economic and social development.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The local counterparts will be two rural women's organizations: IMU, (Institute for Training and Development of Women) and AMSATI (Organization of producer women).Both organizations are part of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group and worked with us to develop a Comprehensive National Policy to promote the rights of rural, indigenous and peasant women. Both organizations are developing field work in the target area of our proposal. AMSATI is implementing projects for rural women aimed at sustaining them through the delivery of “seed capital” and technical assistance, within the framework of the prevention of climate change and always seeking the link between economic and personal empowerment of women. An example of intervention carried out by IMU is to provide rural women beneficiaries of their programme with a machinery for the production of agroecological concentrate (with no use of chemical) to feed chickens. This is a perfect example of green “t.s.t.”.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The target zones have been identified along with IMU and AMSATI, based on the territorial work that the organizations are developing. Some of the factors we took into consideration are: the existence of projects of economic empowerment of women implemented by our partners, the violence rates and the presence of indigenous populations. The main strength is that there are rural women's organizations that are already functioning and that have a very strong social base.

Geographic Focus

Central America, El Salvador. Regions of: Ahuachapán; Sonsonate and Usulután.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months, with the aim to guarantee the sustainability of the project.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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Photo of Barrie Hebb
Team

This sounds great. Have you used Rapid Care Analysis tools to assess time use in target households and specifically tailored to identify the burden of domestic care work on women? Recent research here has confirmed that basic finding for rural poor households in Tajikistan, but at the same time, many of the essential services needed for washing machines are also not readily available without quite extensive investments. At the same time, the RCA approach identified that there was plenty of room to redistribute unpaid care work towards men and boys (to increase their share), simply reduction strategies - but also during specific seasons when productive work would surge. Time poverty, as you rightly point out - is such an incredible obstacle for women's empowerment - I hope you have success in this!

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