On Sunday, November 27, 2016, U.S. Ambassador Jean Manes participated in the “Walking in Equality” march to bring an end to violence against women and girls, organized by the Caucus of Parliamentary Women at the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly. The march began at Cuscatlán Park and finished in the Plaza de las Americas. Ambassador Manes marched alongside prominent Salvadoran leaders, including Public Defender, Sonia Cortez de Madriz and members of Women’s Parliamentary Group, social organizations, and activists.
The United Nations (UN) has declared that violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, impacting national budgets and overall economic development in a society.
In El Salvador, a series of legislative reforms have been implemented to protect women, including penal sanctions and creating specialized courts in order to guarantee access to justice and to reduce the violence that is reflected by statistics published by the General Directorate of Statistics and Censuses (DIGESTYC).
During the march, Women’s Parliamentary Group deputy Marta Evelyn Batres discussed the need to make women who are victims of violence aware that “there are times to denounce this violence, to overcome the barrier that fear creates and denounce any person that attacks them.” She said, “Only by putting the institutions to work is how this scourge can be eradicated, society doesn´t deserve it.”
Ambassador Manes added, “It is very important that all of us join to this fight against violence towards women.”