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IGUALES Honduras

At a glance

Integrating our work in women's economic empowerment, prevention of violence against women, and women's active citizenship for greater impact.

Overview

IGUALES focuses on strengthening women's power over their own lives and contributing to transforming the power relations between women and men, through systemic change, at scale. Empowering women and youth requires building their autonomy and self-esteem so they can create changes in their own lives and have the means and ability to organize themselves, influence decision making, and live free from violence.

Our approach

The IGUALES Honduras programme draws on Oxfam's best work on women's rights and is based on how inequality is significantly limiting women and young people's abilities to fulfil their human rights. The programme integrates women's economic empowerment, prevention of violence against women, and women's active citizenship - as Oxfam's learning shows that progress in one area is always contingent on progress in the others. By integrating these areas, it will achieve greater impact and make more efficient and effective use of available resources.

IGUALES aims to change the negative ideas and beliefs that continue to prevent women from fully participating in society. It also challenges the social norms that allow violence against women and sustained discrimination against women, and authorities' policies and practices that perpetuate violations of women's rights or prevent women from accessing resources and income. The programme is based on a Theory of Change that considers changes in power relationships and gender inequality to be at the heart of the change process. It addresses change at both individual and systemic levels, recognizing the enormous inequalities of power that exist and the political capture of the State by the de facto powers.

IGUALES aims to exploit windows of opportunity that open in the country's political agenda, strengthening civil society movements for change and using evidence that the programme has generated through local initiatives for women's economic empowerment, transformational leadership, and violence prevention. Oxfam's holistic approach linking individual, systemic, formal and informal changes; while addressing social and political norms and practices; and the design and implementation of public policy, distinguishes Oxfam from any other actor in the country.

Inequality in Honduras

Honduras is the third poorest country in the Americas (after Haiti and Nicaragua) in terms of income per capita; 70% of its population live under the poverty line, with 43% in extreme poverty. There are more women in poverty than men, and in the agricultural sector a woman earns on average 65 dollars for every 100 dollars a man earns. Of the 2.2 million rural women, 1.3 million live in poverty or extreme poverty, and survive through small-scale subsistence agriculture. This is becoming increasingly difficult as changes in climate and extreme weather are significantly affecting production of basic grain crops, coffee, fruit and vegetables. The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 shows that Honduras is the most vulnerable country to climate risk with 55% of Honduran municipalities affected by drought, leading to crop losses, restricted access to water, food scarcity and decreasing incomes for rural families. Women are worst affected, as they are responsible for caring for their families, yet have restricted access to and control over resources, land, water, credit, information, health and education - all of which determine an individual's resilience to disasters.

The severe gender inequality in Honduras is not limited to economics or livelihoods. Social norms normalize violence against women and girls; a woman is murdered or a victim of femicide (sex-based hate crime) every 18 hours, and Honduras has the highest rate of femicide in Latin America and the Caribbean. Forty-three percent of victims are aged between 15 and 29. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of deaths, from 2.7 per 100,000 in 2005 to 14.6 in 2014, exceeding the world's homicide average. Youth are also in a vulnerable position, and are negatively affected by the high levels of violence in the country. Although the government has ratified international conventions and enacted laws to protect the human rights of boys, girls, adolescents and youth, it has failed to ensure their implementation and enforcement. 

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