“When women succeed, all of society benefits,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. That is why empowering women is a big part of the Biden-Harris administration’s strategy to identify and eliminate the root causes of irregular migration in Central America.
On the issue of migration, said Vice President Harris, “People don’t want to leave home.”
“And when they do, it is usually for one of two reasons: They are fleeing harm, or they cannot address the basic needs of themselves or their family.”
Last year Vice President Harris issued a Call to Action, inviting businesses, companies, and civil society to join the United States in expanding their investment and engagement with northern Central America. To date, the call has generated more than $3.2 billion dollars of investment commitments there.
In June, Vice President Harris announced new initiatives to prioritize women. The Partnership for Central America, an independent, non-partisan, non-government institution, launched the In Her Hands Initiative that will “empower, protect, and train women in northern Central America.”
As part of this initiative, some of the companies and organizations that have answered the Call to Action, “Have made new commitments to digitize women-owned businesses in the region, to connect women to the banking system, to help more women participate in the agriculture industry, to train women for coding and cybersecurity, and to elevate women within companies,” said Vice President Harris.
“In addition, our administration’s strategy includes partnering with civil society to reduce gender-based violence in the region,” said Vice President Harris.
“These two priorities must go hand in hand. Because we know empowering women economically is not only about giving them a job; it’s about improving their quality of life … When women don’t have financial stability … the data shows us that they are more likely to stay in abusive relationships. A lack of opportunity continues a cycle of violence. However, when women have economic opportunity, we see a reduction in domestic violence, a reduction in sexual violence, a reduction in gender-based violence.”
The plan is to collectively create an ecosystem of opportunity for women in northern Central America and help build protections against violence.
“When you lift up the economic status of women, you lift up the economic status of families, of her community, and of our entire hemisphere,” said Vice President Harris. “We have achieved a lot, but it is only the beginning. And we are committed to seeing this through.”