About 60 percent of CEPAD’s staff are women, including at the leadership level with Damaris Albuquerque at the helm as executive director and Anita Taylor leading our partnership and delegation programs. In our programs, we work to support and empower women through our programs by providing microloans to help women start small buildings, training women on their rights against violence, and more. Women lead CEPAD’s community development committees in many regions, and they learn skills to be leaders in other areas of the community.
Women in rural Nicaragua face many challenges. Single motherhood is common, and even married women can become defacto single mothers when their husbands spend much of the year out of the community to find work. Domestic violence is common, which is why we work to teach women about Ley 779, which expands their rights to protect themselves. Poverty, lack of health care, and limited educational resources also make life harder for women in the communities where we work.
We at CEPAD learn so much about hard work, love and justice from working with them. They often rise at 4 a.m. to make tortillas, do laundry and prepare the day for their children. They work alongside men in the fields to earn money and care for the crops. CEPAD provides training that helps women become better farmers so they can grow more products more efficiently.
We hear a common refrain when we speak to women: They dream of a better future for their children and communities. With your help as donors, friends and delegation members, we are proud to provide resources and tools to help them get closer to those goals.
On the week of International Women’s Day, we hold these women and all women a little extra close to our hearts. May we all do our part to help create a world where they and all women have justice and peace.