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Mónica with representatives of the Ministry of Health at the Interinstitutional Committee for the Prevention and Management of Violence Against Women in Baja California. Centro Mujeres contributes in-person and by drafting the agenda for the meeting. 

Historically, Baja California Sur has been the Mexican state most dependent on government assistance. Some organizations refuse to work with the government, but Mónica and Teresa decided early on that they had to do so. That way, they’d reach more people in the state, who were connected with the government for jobs, services, or assistance.

Mónica and Teresa looked for people working in the system who were willing to listen. Sometimes those officials could not directly help, but they could listen and provide information. Some could only help a little within their respective spheres of influence. Years later, however, they were able to act.

To be clear, DECRETO 2832 became possible when a progressive government came into power, but the legislation itself was nonpartisan. Even government officials on the right, who publicly opposed abortion, turned to Centro Mujeres for help. “They had to deal with reality,” Mónica says, giving as examples calls asking what to do when 10-year-old girls in these officials’ districts were raped and became pregnant. Schools also approached Centro Mujeres, asking for help in reducing teen pregnancy.

Teresa and Mónica engaged with officials regardless of political party. Teresa said, “We’ll deal with whoever is there.”

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About WomenStrong International

WomenStrong International provides trust-based funding, capacity strengthening, and a peer learning community to grantee partners addressing some of the most critical needs of women and girls: keeping girls in school, accessing lifesaving reproductive health care, preventing gender-based violence, and creating pathways to economic security. Learn More