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the power to participate

Being a woman is a wonderful experience, I affirm it every day. It is having an open heart and an eye on the details that make simple things extraordinary. Women have the ability to express what we feel without fear, to fill ourselves with strength just by seeing the laughter of our children and feel that the world belongs to us in every step we take. But, above all, that means asserting ourselves and actively participating in the different areas of our lives.

The study by the World Economic Forum, published in the last quarter of 2016, places Nicaragua at number 10 among the best countries in the world with the smallest gender gap. The first positions are occupied mainly by Nordic countries. The study highlights that Nicaragua has the best performance in this area in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The same report highlights the fact that Nicaragua is ranked number four worldwide in terms of the smallest gender gap in the political empowerment of women, and mentions that this gap has now been closed in the country by more than fifty percent.

However, there are still huge differences in opportunities for women. In Nicaragua, there are women organized in business, religious, feminist, political, and environmental groups, who make efforts to influence the country's public policy and although these spaces make an important contribution, they are still insufficient for the following reasons:

  • In the collective imagination of Nicaraguan society, a macho culture prevails in which women are seen as depending on the decisions of men and over which men exercise real or symbolic power, thus limiting their decision-making capacity and public advocacy. This is also demonstrated in the number of femicides against women. Just to illustrate, in 2016, 49 cases were registered, according to data from women's organizations.

  • With regard to political participation, although there are legal percentages that define the participation in equal amounts of women in relation to men in popularly elected positions (50% men and 50% women), we cannot affirm that this proportion is applied in the same way in institutional public positions or in private companies. Even in positions elected by popular vote, the equal proportion of women in relation to men does not guarantee the same level of incidence of women in decision-making and in the relevant issues of the country.

  • According to data from the report "Women in Business Management" published by the ILO in 2015, in the Nicaraguan business sector only 32.3% of the companies that operate in the country have a woman in management positions and only 22% of the women are business owners. In this last data, Nicaragua is better positioned in relation to other Latin American countries; however, the presence of women in positions of business influence is still very limited.

  • Greater financial support is required, both from private banks and microfinance institutions, for entrepreneurship initiatives at all scales developed by women, promoting financing policies that promote the development and economic empowerment of women. FUNIDES in its research entitled, "The Route to Credit for Women" presented in 2016, reveals that only 20% of women in Nicaragua have access to formal financing.

Despite the fact that the legislation establishes a reduction of the gap in the political participation of women, the reality of daily inequality of Nicaraguan women continues to pose a great challenge for the entire society.


This challenge begins with quality education at an early age that allows women to enter productive life with better tools. A woman with financial independence is a woman who has the ability to make decisions that positively influence her life and that of her family.

But above all, each one of us must be a bridge for each woman, a connection and a voice that carries the message of the importance of participating in other spaces beyond the family and proudly recognizing that we are mothers, but also communicators, businesswomen. , doctors, dreamers, travelers, researchers, independent workers, friends, confidants, sisters, artisans, we are women promoters of change and we must fully participate in life and its spaces.

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