Guatemala: Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare for Women Working in Export Industries
There are many export companies in Guatemala. Their workforce is mainly female, women who are vulnerable, badly paid and often deprived of any rights. In addition to these difficulties, there are significant taboos around the body and sexuality. Many women have no access to prevention or healthcare and are poorly informed on their rights. Since 2006, MdM has been running a program, which aims to promote respect for workers’ rights and, in particular, their right to access healthcare.
MdM organizes medical and sexual and reproductive health consultations in export companies and farms. A medical service, open to workers, is also provided every Sunday in MdM premises. Health promoters are recruited from amongst the workers and trained to deliver information on health, workers’ rights and human rights. Alongside this, visits are organized jointly to the companies with the various administrative bodies and Guatemalan health services, which help to raise awareness of the health of women workers and to coordinate the actions of public institutions towards an improvement in respect for their rights, including access to healthcare.
Results: 1,297 women received medical treatment, of which 978 women have had treatment in sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH). 64 women were trained and their skills in SRH were developed. 413 women benefited from SRH counseling provided by health promoters in their communities. 434 women took part in awareness sessions on SRH, organized by MdM in the fincas and export processing plants (known as maquilas).
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