Gobierno de Reconciliación y Unidad Nacional
Unida Nicaragua Triunfa
ADDRESS BY NICARAGUA AT THE MEETING OF HIGH AUTHORITIES
ON WOMEN'S AND GENDER AFFAIRS OF ALBA-TCP
APRIL 7, 2021
Receive a fraternal revolutionary greeting from President Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra and Vice President Comrade Rosario Murillo Zambrana, who send their best wishes for the success of this event.
Nicaragua has been developing a New Social Model since 2007 based on the inclusion of those who have historically been excluded by the racist, classist and sexist oligarchy. These include the poor, women, youth, children and people with disabilities; the rural areas that have historically been without safety, electricity, water and sanitation services; roads, ports and airports or communications; the indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua and the entire population regarding the right to a healthy environment, since there has been environmental and natural resources depredation.
In relation to inclusion, policies of redistribution, participation, prominence, empowerment and voluntarism are being applied.
Since 2007, in Nicaragua, women are protagonists in the full exercise of decision-making within public life and in all areas thanks to the policies implemented by the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity (GRUN).
Nicaragua was 90th in the Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum of Davos in 2007, and by 2020, it has reached the fifth place in the world, only behind Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. This is due both to the political inclusion and economic advancement of poor women. We are one of the countries of the world that has managed to reduce the gender gap the most, by 80.9%.
According to projections by the World Economic Forum (WEF), if we continue this progress, by 2034, Nicaragua will completely close the gender gap.
Recently, UN Women has recognized Nicaragua as the country in the first place regarding women's prominence, both regionally and globally, with 58.82% women-led-ministries. Women in the Cabinet include not only health, education, family and women's portfolios, but also Defense, Interior, Family Economy, Labor, Environment and Natural Resources, as well as Tourism and Forestry.
At the same time, women hold the positions of Vice-President of the Republic, President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Vice-President of the Supreme Electoral Council, Attorney General of the Nation and Ombudsman for Human Rights.
Nicaragua is the fourth in the world in terms of women in the Legislative Branch, with a representation of 48.4% of the National Assembly. Within the judiciary women hold 59.7% of positions and 40% in the Electoral Branch.
In Nicaragua, there is a national legislative framework that enshrines parity in the participation of elections, ensuring that political parties or alliances participating in Municipal, National Assembly and Central American Parliament elections, must include 50% of men and 50% of women in their lists, as well as abide by the binomial policy on the lists of mayor and vice mayor. The 50-50 formula also applies to Municipal Council elections. In local governments, women represent 47% of Mayors, 51% of Vice-Mayors and 49% of Municipal Council members.
The determined participation of women from the different Ministries and Powers of the State has contributed to the effective implementation of the National Gender Policy, the National Human Development Programme, and now, the National Plan to Combat Poverty for Sustainable Development 2021-2026.
The Government of Nicaragua works to reduce gender gaps and restore the rights of Nicaraguan women through actions aimed at ensuring the principles of Prominence, Integrity, Complementarity, Respect, Dignity, and Equitable and Fair inclusion.
Nicaragua has the merit that the greatest economic advance has been that of poor women. The Zero Hunger Program donated a pregnant cow, pregnant sow, chickens, seeds, fertilizers and corral building materials to 180,000 women of poor families with land. Thus, the woman became producers, which improved nutrition through animal protein and family financing by selling surpluses in local markets.
The model includes savings and loan groups, but in 295 cases, local women, acting on their own initiative, have gone further and organized cooperatives.
The Zero Usury program is a microcredit mechanism but, true to its name, it charges a 5% annual interest rate, instead of 30% to 40% charged by NGOs and microcredit companies. 1,253,060 loans have been granted to 396,394 women. By 2021, US$56 million will support the entrepreneurship of 160,000 women, mostly in urban areas.
Nicaragua, from its Model of Equity and Complementarity, continues to make progress in reducing the gender gap, strengthening the prominence of women in universal, free and quality Health and Education Systems. The Ministry of Citizen´s Power for Health, through the Health, Family and Community Model (MOSAFC) has guaranteed access to free, equitable, comprehensive, humanized and quality health services, bringing health information and actions at the level of neighborhoods and counties.
In the Health sector, 64% are women, including doctors, nurses and specialists and within the Education Sector, 73% of teachers, are women.
Due to the good results of the Country Strategy, increasing the number of maternal homes from 50 in 2007 to 178 in 2021, Nicaragua has received the America Award for reducing maternal mortality rates, decreasing maternal mortality by 69%, from 115 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2006 to 36 in 2020.
Despite the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for women, being among the most vulnerable groups, and the unilateral, coercive, illegal measures imposed by the United States, which, applied during times of pandemic, elevate their illegality to the level of crimes against humanity; Nicaragua has succeeded in implementing policies that promote the social, economic, political and cultural empowerment of women.
All these programs are aimed at strengthening women's capacities for participating in the economy, they are also supported by laws, decrees and other legal resources related to gender equity in leadership positions in their various sectors of work, in politics, trade unions and the community, also supported by equal work and equal remuneration for women and men, as well as intellectual, academic, productive, creative and commercial jobs.
Culture of Peace
The Government of Nicaragua promotes policies for the reduction and prevention of domestic and gender-based violence, through education and prevention, including actions to eliminate the manifestations of violence against women, children and adolescents. It also includes, among others: the Comprehensive Care Strategy at Women's Police Stations; the free hotline for women at risk; the School Security Strategy and Family Counseling.
To continue promoting a culture of peace from an early age, it is essential to provide an education that promotes justice, equity, inclusion and non-discrimination; to this purpose, the Ministry of Education is implementing the new subject "Women's Rights and Dignities", as part of the comprehensive training of children and young people, promoting from schools, the right to dignity, to life without harassment and preventing cyberbullying, without abuse, without aggression and the unrestricted respect for women's human rights.
All this has been achieved through the political will at the highest level, the public policies and affirmative actions of our good government, and the inclusion, redistribution, participation, prominence, empowerment and voluntarism, which allows for women to play an indispensable role in the transformation of Nicaragua.