The Challenges Women Face In Honduras

Throughout recent decades, minority groups across the world have been rising up and gaining the rights that they deserve. However, there is an ongoing crisis in Honduras where countless women are being treated egregiously. In every aspect of a woman’s life in Honduras they are limited and bounded by overpowering men and a culture that is unwilling to change. Women are bound to the household and expected to provide for their children. Moreover, it is almost impossible for them to get their own job as men are twice as likely to be employed than women in Honduras. Even though the country has a female majority, men own approximately 59% of the household wealth while women hold only 38%. It’s hard enough for a woman to survive with this kind of wealth distribution, but over half of the country, mostly women, live on less than two dollars a day. With these financial difficulties it is hard enough for women in Honduras to maintain a stable lifestyle, but it is also extremely hard for them to balance their work and home life. The graphic to the right shows the distribution of job types amongst women in Honduras. With women responsible for the domestic side of life, these job fields can put extra pressure on them. Working in the private or public sector means set hours where the children and house aren’t being cared for. Regardless, in more that 670,000 or 30% of households in Honduras, women are responsible for generating an income for their families. As shown in the graphic above, only 14% of women are unpaid family workers. The rest of the women hold a job and take care of their families and households. Not only are women expected to do so much to support their families, but when they aren’t working hard, they are subject to terrible violence. Women in Honduras are subjected to so much violence that local Hondurans even have their own slang terms perpetuating violent acts. “Machismo” is a term used to describe the attitudes of men as being strong and unemotional while females are vulnerable and needy. “Femicide” is the killing of a girl or woman, usually by a man, on account of her gender.

More than 20,000 reports of domestic violence occur every year and every 18 hours a woman is killed in Honduras. These violent norms are egregious and cause pain and suffering to countless Hondurans daily. It seems the only good thing that women get from Honduras is a high literacy rate of about 88. 9% for females. This high level of education still doesn’t help females get good jobs or live a stable life. It is even hard for them to gain political positions. Until 2013, women had almost no place in Honduras’s Congress, but after that women were able to make up 25. 80% of it, which is slightly higher than the percent of women in the US Congress. The infographic to the right shows a quote from a famous environmental activist from Honduras along with more shocking statistics about mistreatment of women in Honduras. Berta Cáceres was murdered in 2016 and ever since other women throughout Honduras have been supporting her cause and bringing light to the many issues women face in their daily lives. These efforts have been fought by certain groups of traditional males and government influencers, but overall these efforts have brought global attention to the issues these women face. In 2010 the UN created UN Women which is a branch of the UN dedicated to helping women around the world like those in Honduras. They have seen that Honduran women are struggling and are taking steps to help them. First and foremost, they want to reduce the violence that women face daily. This is a difficult obstacle to tackle, but with the help of others Honduran women could get the resources they need to tackle this problem. They also want to help change the Honduran government to better enforce the rightful treatment of women. The goals that UN women want to accomplish are impressive and would help countless women but are difficult goals to reach. It will be difficult to help these Honduran women, but with enough awareness and hard work it is possible. Honduran women face some of the toughest challenges of all women worldwide from low salaries, to unfair work opportunities, to an abundance of violence, and even unfair representation and protest rights.

However, these women are resilient and willing to do whatever it takes to get the rights that they deserve. Even the killing of a well-known women’s activist doesn’t stop them, but rather makes them fight harder. They’ve fought so hard that they’ve even gained the attention of organizations such as the United Nations. Honduran women have already started to gain some say in political processes in Honduras over the recent years and hopefully this edge up, along with the help of the UN and other organizations, they can finally rise up against Honduran men and political leaders and gain the rights they have fought so hard for.

10 December 2020
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