Completed project

Rights and Justice for Indigenous Women and Girls in Guatemala (DEMUJERES)

Women's and girls' rights

August 2018 to March 2024


CAD$ $6,000,000

Global Affairs Canada, CECI-LWBC: $678,000 CAD

Consortium partner

Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC)

Impact for


women and girls and 200 men directly benefiting from the project

Femicide and rape rates in Guatemala remain among the highest in the world. On average, two women are killed every day in the country. The DEMUJERES project aims to increase the freedom, human dignity and empowerment of women and girls, particularly indigenous ones, by strengthening protection against gender-based sexual violence and access to justice.

The project is taking place in the departments of Chimaltenango, Alta Verapaz and Sololá in Guatemala. It is being carried out with the collaboration of numerous local partners, including four indigenous women's organizations, three women's organizations, seven national civil society organizations, national and departmental networks for the derivation of cases of violence against women, two indigenous peoples' rights organizations, four human rights organizations as well as the indigenous authorities of the regions affected by the project.


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Strengthen women's capacity for action.

We strengthen the capacities of women's organizations and state structures supporting victims of gender-based sexual violence. The DEMUJERES project operates at the psychosocial, economic and judicial levels. The aim is to enable women to increase their capacity for action and guarantee the exercise of their rights.

Improving access to justice for indigenous women and girls.

We support people working in the legal field so that they are able to use legal standards of protection against gender-based sexual violence. The project helps them to offer services adapted to the needs of indigenous women and girls.

Raise awareness in target communities

The DEMUJERES project works with men, the media and institutions to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence. The project contributes to creating a social environment favorable to the rights of women and girls.

Access to justice for Guatemalan women and girls

Reducing gender-based violence by equipping women and the organizations that support them

Guatemalan women and girls are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of feminicides, rapes and other gender-based crimes go unpunished. In the face of such violence, access to justice is particularly difficult for indigenous women. They remain excluded from the system because of their language, cultural practices and geographical distance from legal services.

The treatment they receive within the justice system is often marked by discrimination and racism.
To counter this phenomenon, the DEMUJERES project is targeting three departments hard hit by issues of violence (Alta Verapaz, Sololá and Chimaltenango), while supporting actions of national scope. In this way, raising public awareness and building the capacity of organizations that support victims helps to improve the treatment they receive.

Results that count

2.3 million

people sensitized to the issues of sexual and gender-based violence

15 283

people, including 1,133 men and boys, are now aware of the positive attitudes they can adopt to put an end to sexual and gender-based violence in their communities.

6 000

indigenous women and girls who are survivors of sexual and gender-based violence have been supported by partner organizations.


legal actors trained to apply legal standards of protection against sexual and gender-based violence

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Saríah Acevedo
DEMUJERES project coordinator, Mayan sociologist, social worker and researcher
Testimony of a woman who underwent psychological therapy at Chomija'. Chimaltenango, February 2023

Our partners

Thank you to our financial, consortium and implementation partners, without whom this project would not be possible.

Take action

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