Mujer Florece: Empowerment and Economic Security for Women Survivors of Violence in Guatemala

Conducted in close collaboration with Guatemalan organization Fundación Sobrevivientes (FS), the Mujer Florece project includes the design and facilitation of entrepreneurial workshops and psychological support sessions focusing on empowerment, gender equality and economic security for women survivors of violence in Huehuetenango, San Marcos and Retalhuleu. In addition to practical entrepreneurship courses and group therapy, this new initiative will also provide INTECAP scholarships (a national organization providing marketable skills training and certification) and start-up materials for a select group of women that wish to launch entrepreneurial ventures. This will occur in tandem with workshops on positive masculinities offered to family members in order to foster their allyship and support for the women, while addressing and disrupting harmful gender norms.

The project builds upon existing methodology for women’s empowerment, economic advancement, and entrepreneurship, initially developed by FS, as well as new complimentary additions by JES. The integrated approach to economic development for survivors combines psychological support, technical skills development, and public legal education and information, including labour rights and human rights.

Initial workshops with Indigenous girls in Region 1

2022-2023 (ongoing)

The project is composed of several core activities, including:

  • Entrepreneurship workshops with survivors
  • Courses with INTECAP (national organization providing marketable skills training and certification) on business development
  • Knowledge sharing between women entrepreneurs
  • Positive Masculinity workshops with cis-gender male family members
  • Group Therapy and Psychological Support
  • Training of Psychologists and Social Workers

The project has contributed the following outputs to date:

  • Group therapy sessions with 239 women that have been victims of gender-based violence; they have reported a 34% increase in their self-esteem from when they started
  • 99 women have completed an entrepreneurship training. These women have been granted a scholarship to INTECAP (Technical Institute for Training and Productivity of Guatemala); courses have included: hairstyling, patisserie, and balloon decor artistry
  • 25 men have participated in the project’s positive masculinity training; 88% of participants demonstrate a positive attitude toward gender equality following the training 

therapy session Mujer Florece