CAWN carries out, publishes and disseminates research on women’s rights in Central America. We invite you to download, read and distribute our publications. The content of them may be used for educational purposes, however we ask that you cite the source and let us know when and how you are using them.

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Our quarterly newsletter is packed with news, analysis, calls for solidarity, events, publications and more. To subscribe email us to

 Spring 2015
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briefing papers

Reflections on the road travelled by CAWN: 25 years of solidarity and promoting women’s rights. November 2016

English | Spanish

In this, our final publication, we look at the work done since our 20th Anniversary newsletter in 2011. We review the developments in the main thematic areas on which CAWN has focused since the beginning, considering what has and has not changed since 1991. This is followed by a reflection on CAWN’s own evolution, from loose network to charity, and some thoughts about our legacy and the future.


Empowerment Approach in Tourism, The Voices of Nicaraguan Women. October 2015

Tourism features in most Development Agendas, such as the Post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development . It also features in free trade agreements and in most international development strategies. Its global reach has placed tourism at the heart of decision-making in all spheres, political, financial and economic. The Responsible Tourism movement has been gathering pace and Nicaragua is currently in the process of developing a strategy on Gender and Tourism.


 Women’s Reproductive Rights. September, 2015

Available in English and Spanish

Maternal and reproductive health is critical to address in order to improve the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in many developing countries. Maternal health and reproductive rights are intertwined, especially women’s rights to control their fertility and to choose when to become pregnant. But reproductive rights are very contentious in many countries in Latin America, in particular access to contraception and the termination of pregnancies. We provide an overview of the situation in the region with a focus on women in El Salvador.


Subverting Sexism: Using Socio-Dramas to Socialise in Nicaragua. May, 2014

A Nicaraguan feminist NGO has recognised the potential for using television to socialise and created two successful telenovelas or “socio-dramas” in 2001 and 2011, respectively. These series aim to change cultural mores to promote gender equality, addressing what occurs behind the camera as well as in front of it. This paper evaluates the representation of women and women’s rights on screen.


Challenging violence against women in Honduras. March 2014

Significant advances were made for women in Honduras during the 1990s, including the passing of laws concerning domestic violence, equal opportunities for women, and a 30% quota for women in electoral law reform. However, the turn of the century witnessed a reversal in women’s rights and gains, and a backlash as the decade drew on. This paper draws lessons learnt by CAWN and Honduran partners on successful strategies to continue addressing VAW in this new context.


Women renegotiating power paradigms in Central America: their struggles in the second half of the 20th century.February, 2014

The increased participation of Central American women in public affairs started with a shakeup of traditional gendered power paradigms in the 1960s, represented by the birth of an extensive network of women’s organisations in the region, supported by solidarity organisations worldwide.  This paper gives a historical context of how and why this participation was able to flourish in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua from the 1970s until the 1990s.


Surviving as we can: Women in Informal Employment in Central America. October 2013.

The majority of women in urban areas in Central America take up work in the informal economy, whether as street vendors, domestic workers, home-based workers or in other activities. Women in informal employment generally have low levels of education and skills, and are often single mothers living below or close to poverty levels. They are all working long hours, often in difficult or dangerous working conditions, with low pay or income, with little or no social protection, as part of a family survival strategy.


The Impact on Women of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America: assessing CAWN’s advocacy efforts. 
November 2012

After years of advocacy warning about the potential negative impact of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America this paper evaluates the final text of the trade agreement to assess to what extent our recommendations were taken on board.


Maternal Health, Reproductive Rights and the Criminalizations of Abortion in Central America. September 2012.

An overview of international instruments and policy com-mitments to women’s reproductive rights, with special attention to reproductive health and maternal health, focusing on the situation of women’s reproductive rights in Central America and highlighting the struggles carried out by women’s and feminist organisations in the region.


Trafficking of women in Central America and Mexico. October 2012.

As people  seek to improve their livelihoods  restrictive migration policies force many under the control of  traffickers. CAWN denounces the links between corporatocracy, militarization, inequality and State connivance as factors at the root of the trafficking of women and girls within the Central American region and out of it.


Feminicidio: Un fenomeno global. De Lima a Madrid. May 2010

A regional perspective on the situation of femicide in Latin America. The paper provides an overview of the changes needed to eradicate discrimination, violence against women, femicide and impunity. It also presents different interpretations of the concept of femicide.

Tourism and Development Strategy in Central America: exploring the impact on women’s lives. March 2010

Lucy Ferguson presents the findings of research between 2005-2008. The research involved interviews with women workers and community and business representatives in Costa Rica, Belize and  Honduras, as well as with a wide range of actors in the tourism development domain.


Social Reproduction and Labour Rights: a case study of women workers in Nicaragua. February 2010

Marina Prieto-Carron examines the work burdens of women within the productive, as well as the reproductive, spheres.


Economy Literacy: a tool for women’s empowerment in Nicaragua. October 2008

An assement of the ground work conducted by CAWN in collaboration with the Movimiento de Mujeres Maria Elena Cuadra (MEC)  from 2005 to 2008. The capacity-building project delivered micro and macro economic literacy for Nicaraguan women.


research reports


Exploitation and trafficking of women. Critiquing narratives during the London Olympics 2012. September 2013

Exploitation and Trafficking of Women‘ was commissioned to inform CAWN’s work around the role of civil society and the media in shaping public understanding of the different forms of exploitation experienced by women, in particular migrant women, in the context of major sporting events. The study draws up recommendations based on the experience of the London Olympics that can be applied to other forthcoming major sporting events.


Intersecting Violences: A Review of Feminist Theories and Debates on Violence Against Women in Latin America. October 2010

Patricia Muñoz Cabrera considers the benefits of taking an intersectional approach to the complex and interrelated web of factors contributing to poverty and VAW in Latin America. This research aims to bring together the different work that has been done on intersectionality to assist in gaining a fuller understanding of how this important tool can be maximised.


Toolkit for Intersecting Violences: Putting Intersectional Analysis into Practice. March 2011.

This toolkit showcases examples of NGOs in Latin America that are practically implementing intersectionality in their work on Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG). For a free copy of the CD-ROM, please contact


The Response of International Aid Agencies to Violence against Women in Central America –the case of Honduras. November 2008

This publication identifies seven different approaches that international aid agencies have adopted in response to tackling violence against women in Honduras.  Gender mainstreaming may in fact contribute to agencies not gender budgeting and makes it difficult to know whether enough resources are allocated for VAW work.


The Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America: its potential impact on women’s lives in Central America. March 2008


The Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America: Its potential impact on women’s lives in Central AmericaOctober 2007

The study highlights the main areas in which free trade agreements impact on the lives of women in the region.

Gender Perspectives and Women’s Action on the Central America Free Trade Agreement. March 2005


audio and video


Life at any price – a film about the impact of the law in El Salvador that bans abortion in all circumstances, including rape, foetal abnormality, and even when a mother’s life is at risk.


Images of exploited and trafficked women: The role of the media and campaigning in women’s empowerment – a video summary of one of CAWN’s conferences that explored how the debates on trafficking of women are played out and amplified by media stories, backing the prevalence of dominating, sometimes unhelpful, discourses.


Celebrating Nicaraguan Women’s successes –  an audio summary of CAWN and Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign talk to reclaim the value of women’s unpaid work and to learn from Nicaraguan women’s struggles, particularly from their organisation in women’s cooperatives.


Responsible narratives of exploitation and trafficking of women: The role of social communicators – an audio summary of a roundtable that brought together campaigners, journalists and practitioners from frontline organizations to  discuss our responsibility to construct adequate narratives, with BBC and Latin America Bureau journalist Sue Branford, trafficking experts Kate Cooper and Gillian Wylie, and Holly Young from The Guardian’s Modern-Day Slavery Hub.


Women in the maquilas – a video testimony of an ex-maquila worker and a campaigner at the ‘Honduran Collective of Women’. She shares her experience of the working conditions of women’s workers in Honduran in textile factories producing clothes for the Global North.



media and other articles


Central American Women in the Informal Economy (page 25), by Virginia López Calvo

Force and Fraud, by Roos Saalbrink

El Salvador: A Truce for the gangs is not a truce for women, by Virginia López Calvo

International Women’s day in Central America, by CAWN

Femicide in Mexico: the cotton field case and its sequels, by Olivia Kirkpatrick

Guatemala: region’s highest rate of femicide, by Marilyn Thomson

Sonia Tábora and the risks of being poor and pregnant in El Salvador
by Vickie Knox

On the Frontline of the Honduran Resistance Movement, by Katherine Ronderos

Women’s Rights in Honduras, by Central America Women’s Network

‘Honduras: pressure grows on Britain and EU to act, by Louise Nousratpour

Eyewitness in Honduras’, by  John Green




Older  publications are stored here. Let us know if you can’t find what you are after.

regular newsletters


Spring ’12 Winter ’11
Spring ’11 Winter ’10
Autumn ’10 Spring ’10
Winter ’09 Summer ’09
Spring ’09 Autumn ’07
Spring ’07 Autumn ’07
Autumn ’05 Spring ’05







A special newsletter on gender and trade issues in Central America between 2006 and 2008.

A-Genda, December 2006

A-Genda, June 2008

A-Genda, October 2007

A-Genda, April 2007

A-Genda, December 2006


Special 20th Anniversary edition newsletter.


The exploitation spectrum: current approaches to tackle exploitation and trafficking of migrant sex workers, with Baroness Mary Goudie and Julia O’Connell Davidson

Media and campaigns’ representations of exploited and trafficked women, with Rutvica Andrijasevic and Sarah Jackson


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