Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America and contributes 25% of the Central American Common Market’s GDP. Like most economies in the region, agriculture plays an important role. The agricultural sector makes up 9.4% of the country’s GDP and employs almost a third of its workforce.
Despite the country’s large economy, it still struggles with high poverty and inequality. Rural women in Guatemala are underrepresented in the agricultural sector due to restrictive gender norms. They generally work on family farms, not receiving pay or acknowledgment for their work. Few women own land, further limiting them from accessing credit, and indigenous women are less likely to carry out paid work.
MEDA’s Women’s Empowerment for Central America (WE4CA) is its first project in Guatemala. MEDA is pleased to support rural and indigenous women and girls to work in the coffee and light manufacturing value chains. Through this project, MEDA will strive to improve gender equality and alleviate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Guatemala.