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June 7, 2022

Guatemala, May 26, 2022 

Today, USAID announced nine winners of a challenge to promote women’s economic empowerment at a virtual event featuring Administrator Samantha Power. The winning organizations bring innovative and impactful solutions to strengthen women’s agency, safety, access to power, resources, fair and stable long-term income, and labor protections in the workplace.

Through MujerProspera, USAID seeks to 1) Advance Women’s Economic Security by improving working conditions and labor protections, recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in dignified, stable work that increases access to formal jobs, productivity, and a fair and stable income; and 2) Address Harmful Gender Norms and Enable Safe Work Environments by promoting egalitarian and positive gender norms, a safe working environment, and secure transportation to support women’s economic security and agency.

In January 2022, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub (GenDev) launched the MujerProspera (WomanProsper) Challenge, a regional challenge to advance gender equality in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. USAID Administrator Samantha Power first announced this challenge during her trip to El Salvador in June 2021. The challenge is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address the root causes of irregular migration.

USAID challenges use open competition to incentivize local and global entrepreneurs, academics, civil society, and other problem solvers to address a well-defined problem, pilot and test innovative approaches, and scale the most promising solutions. To learn more about this challenge, visit the MujerProspera Challenge web page (https://www.usaid.gov/mujer-prospera-challenge).

The winners that will work in Guatemala:

Justice Society of British Columbia
Working in collaboration with the Fundacion Sobrevivientes, Justice Education Society will improve the marketable skills of 300 trans women, Indigenous women, and those with disabilities to work in competitive industries in Guatemala.  It will support 70 women to launch small business ventures, utilizing skills gained through the program.

Asociación de Desarrollo Productivo y de Servicios Tikonel
This project aims to strengthen 150 indigenous women mushroom producers in 12 communities in Totonicapan, Guatemala, to effectively engage in the local agricultural value chain.  The  activity will enhance women’s engagement and pathways to sustainable employment in oyster mushroom production through the provision of supplies, equipment, training and strengthened market identification and access.

Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Inc. Universidad Zamorano
Building on current activities in Honduras, this project will expand efforts there, and in El Salvador and Guatemala, to address gender norms that create a barrier to women’s engagement in agriculture. The university will leverage its network of graduates, to reach more than 1,500 women farmers, producers and entrepreneurs at 30 private sector organizations across the three countries.

Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE-Guatemala)
Working in partnership with Cargill, this project will enable a safe and equitable work environment and increase economic security for 1,000 women producers in Cortes and Comayagua, Honduras, and in Chimaltenango and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  The project will build on evidence-based practices to enhance women’s income, decision-making, and ability to access resources through skill-development, market linkages, and business networks in fish, meat, poultry, dairy, grain and vegetable production.

Fundación Empresarial para la Acción Social (FUNDEMAS)
This project aims to work with 6,700 women in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to strengthen their agency and entrepreneurial skills, as well as work with 300 small and mid-sized enterprises and 80 companies to promote a safe work environment and ensure women’s economic security.  In addition to essential skill-building, this project will work within companies in a process of co-creation to promote an inclusive work environment.

New Sun Road
Working in collaboration with the Guatemalan Ixtatan Foundation, the project will support up to 1,000 Indigenous rural women in the Western Highlands and the department of Alta Verapaz through expanded access to internet-enabled solar-powered digital community centers.  These safe and inclusive spaces are managed by women leaders from the community, and provide support to women entrepreneurs and their families through training in digital literacy, financial management, problem-solving and development of their businesses, enhancing these women’s agency and leadership through technology.