Source: Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women. Own compilation based on administrative records (2017–2020).
Data correspond to approved budgets for each year.
175.In compliance with the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in 2017 the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women created the Planning Coordination Unit, responsible for the technical coordination of the institutional planning process and monitoring of the Institutional Information and Statistics System. The information system has modules with indicators corresponding to the areas of the National Equality Plan 2016–2020 and the gender statistics and indicators module. It is available at www.infoigualdad-isdemu.gob.sv. Work is currently under way on drafting the National Equality Plan up to 2024; the process has included technical areas.
Recommendations contained in paragraphs 22 and 23 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Gender-based violence against women)
176.The Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women runs the national support system for women affected by violence as a mechanism for inter-agency management and coordination at the national level to provide comprehensive and specialized care for women facing gender-based violence. The system is comprised of the specialized institutional support units for women affected by violence and shelters.
177.Since the entry into force of the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, there has been a gradual increase in the availability of care services for women nationwide. As of 2019, there are 81 specialized institutional support units for women affected by violence, with coverage in the country’s 14 departments, in the following institutions: the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Prosecution Service, the Office of the Human Rights Advocate, the National Police, the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the Ministry of Health, Women’s City and the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women. In addition, 12 local victim support offices have been established by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
178.Institutions that provide shelter services for women affected by violence include the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women, the National Police, the Salvadoran Institute for Children and Adolescents, the Executive Technical Unit of the Justice Sector and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
179.Through a dedicated project, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women supports the care, protection and psychosocial recovery of returned migrant women and their children by providing technical equipment, furniture and equipment for the shelter and transition house in the eastern region of the country with a view to supporting their integration into economic and social life on an equal and non‑discriminatory basis.
180.The Institute provides remote and face-to-face care through the Directorate of Specialized Care, which has specialized care units in the 14 departments. They provide the following services: psychological, legal and social support; playrooms for children; therapy; medical care; psychological care for children and adolescents; sexual and reproductive health care; and cervical smear and temporary protection campaigns.
181.Other protection alternatives include: sheltered housing, which is provided in coordination with NGOs that support women in obtaining decent and safe housing; emergency accommodation, to provide women with a safe space for a short period of time; and international protection, a project implemented by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
182.The Comprehensive Programme for a Violence-Free Life for Women supported 5,579 women in 2018, 4,675 in 2019 and 3,920 in 2020 (annexes, table 6).
183.During the state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, protection and support continued to be provided to women, taking into account the biosecurity measures imposed by the Ministry of Health. The 126 helpline remained in service, and new ways of bringing services to people were introduced, such as teleservices via mobile phone/WhatsApp (7608–6805) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Women were provided with crisis care, psychological first aid and legal advice.
184.In 2018, in view of the rise in the number of femicides, the board of directors of the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women approved the Strategy for the Prevention of Femicide and Sexual Violence to reduce the incidence of these crimes through intersectoral measures for the prevention and detection of such violence and the support and protection of women and girls. It was also recognized that all institutions of the executive branch need to comply with the mandates established in the various regulatory instruments for the protection of women’s rights and, in particular, those contained in the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women and the National Policy for Women’s Access to a Violence-Free Life.
185.The main results achieved include the following:
•Forty-three institutions have committed to implementing actions to prevent femicide and sexual violence within their institutions and among the population they serve
•The Strategy has been disseminated among various key actors, including the Supreme Court, the Legislative Assembly, municipal authorities, the diplomatic corps and cooperation agencies accredited in the country
•Forty-one institutions from the three branches of government have reported on the implementation of actions to prevent femicide and sexual violence and have implemented 346 campaigns to prevent violence against women, educating and raising awareness among more than 4,030,806 people
•Capacity-building is taking place at the institutional level, as in the case of the Agricultural Development Bank, which is implementing an online course on the basics for a life free of violence for women
•Twelve institutions are participating in the campaign against street sexual harassment in the Centro de Gobierno district of the capital and surrounding streets, coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office
•The Ministry of the Interior and Regional Development is running a campaign through the Directorate of Public Entertainment, Radio and Television entitled “For women’s right to a life free of violence. Do your part, break the silence”, broadcast on radio and television stations affiliated with the Salvadoran Association of Radio Broadcasters and members of the Salvadoran Media Network, channel 11, channel 12 and Radio Sonora
•The Strategy was formulated with the participation of 16 institutions: the National Council for Children and Adolescents, the Salvadoran Institute for Children and Adolescents, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Community Participation in Education Programme, the Ministry of Health, the Health Solidarity Fund, the Secretariat for Social Inclusion, the Supreme Court, PASMO, Plan International, Médecins du Monde, UNFPA, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN-Women, Oxfam and the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women
•A guide on the development of plans for the prevention of violence against women in public and private institutions is being drafted. Three institutions – the Social Investment for Local Development Fund, the Salvadoran Institute of Teacher Welfare and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security – have adopted such guidelines. The Ministry of Health is updating the technical guidelines for comprehensive health care for persons affected by violence
•There are 41 specialized courses on the prevention of femicide and sexual violence, involving the participation of 3,366 students – 2,275 women and 1,091 men – from public and private universities
•Sixty-nine awareness-raising activities on sexual harassment in public places have been carried out in 43 municipalities
•One hundred sixty-one information-sharing activities have been run as part of the media campaign to raise awareness of gender-based and femicidal violence
•An evaluation report on the specialized institutional support units for women affected by violence is prepared at the national level
•The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has conducted two studies on sexual violence in educational communities
186.Through the project “Triangular cooperation between Peru, El Salvador and Spain to institutionalize a knowledge management system for the generation of evidence on femicidal violence in El Salvador, based on the experience of Peru and Spain”, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women contributes to guaranteeing the right of women to a life free of violence through the design, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based public policies supported by the development of a knowledge management system that has an impact in reducing femicidal violence. It seeks to benefit women and the general population of El Salvador through the design of public policy proposals for the detection, prevention and punishment of femicidal violence and the provision of support, protection and reparation to victims.
187.The plan of action run in partnership with UNHCR aims to strengthen the Institute’s capacity to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence and seeks to benefit returning migrant women in need of protection.
188.The Institute formulated the Strategy for the Prevention of Violence against Women, which is implemented at the municipal level through its departmental offices. The results are as follows:
•Skills training was provided to 1,044 professionals – 845 women and 199 men – in multidisciplinary teams, who work for more than 23 institutions responsible for providing care to women affected by gender-based violence. These include the Ministry of Health, the Salvadoran Social Security Institute, the National Police, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, local victim support offices of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Women’s City, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the National Council for Children and Adolescents, the armed forces, the Legislative Assembly, the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Prosecution Service, the Supreme Court, the Human Rights Advocate and the municipal women’s units
•Twenty-one local care pathways for women affected by violence in 21 priority municipalities were drawn up on an inter-institutional basis
•Capacity-building was provided for 47 municipal committees for the prevention of violence through 162 awareness-raising workshops that addressed the different types of violence against women
•Skills training for the exercise of active citizenship was provided to 525 women leaders of the advisory and citizen oversight committees in the priority municipalities
•A total of 759 help desks for the promotion and dissemination of women’s rights were set up in educational centres in the priority municipalities, serving a total of 31,539 persons – 18,615 women and 12,924 men
•A total of 580 activities were carried out to disseminate information and promote knowledge of rights for the prevention of violence against women, through mobile desks set up in health centres, fairs, community festivals and through the broadcasting of Voz Mujer (Women’s Voice) radio programmes
189.The Ministry of Justice and Public Security published reports on acts of violence against women for 2015, 2016–2017, 2018, 2019 and the first half of 2020.
190.In 2017, the results of the National Survey on Violence against Women in El Salvador were presented, and in 2019, the National Survey on Sexual Violence against Women and Girls was conducted by the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses.
191.Following a process to strengthen the Tripartite Operational Committee, a proposal was made for the establishment of a single registry of femicidal violence in El Salvador to allow the reconciliation of data on homicides and femicides.
192.The Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women is mandated by law to prepare an annual report on violence against women in El Salvador that presents progress in the implementation of the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women and an analysis of the status and situation of violence against women.
193.The Institute formulated guidelines for institutions represented on the Special Commission of Experts and municipalities to implement measures in line with the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, including the National Support System and the Guide for the Preparation of Municipal Plans for the Prevention of Violence against Women.
194.With support from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Institute launched the virtual support platform for women affected by violence “126 Te Orienta” on International Women’s Day 202, through which guidance is provided remotely. It includes care pathways, emergency plans and information related to COVID-19, as well as other information of interest to women.
Recommendations contained in paragraphs 42 and 43 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women)
195.The Attorney General’s Office provides specialized support and legal and psychological advice and assistance, regardless of a person’s gender identity or expression or sexual orientation. To this end, it works constantly to raise the awareness of staff in all its support units.
196.It continues to adapt support processes to bring them into line with applicable regulations. Amendments to the Office’s Organization Act, which were recently approved by the Legislative Assembly, provide for the establishment of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General for Victims, tasked with designing strategies and mechanisms to continuously improve the provision of assistance to this sector of the population. The Gender Unit has been expanded to apply an inclusive approach and develop internal strategies and raise awareness among staff so as to ensure quality care for all persons who request it.
197.The Attorney General’s Office reports that, in 2020, 38 people belonging to this vulnerable group received advice, legal assistance and psychological care.
198.The Public Prosecution Service continuously applies elements of normative instruments and runs capacity-building activities in order to ensure that there is zero tolerance for discrimination. The following mechanisms are in place:
•The criminal prosecution policy, which from its very first article develops the guiding principles for prosecutorial action and establishes human dignity and equality as the basis for the daily work of the Service
•A protocol for the provision of legal assistance and psychosocial support to persons experiencing violence – especially children, adolescents, women and other vulnerable groups – that standardizes the conduct of the staff of the Service and avoids the revictimization of persons who have been affected by violence
•A protocol for the investigation of aggravated hate crimes based on gender identity and expression or sexual orientation. This instrument was developed to ensure that the services provided by the Public Prosecution Service are based on the values of equality, liberty and security, in accordance with the law, and establishes the guidelines to be followed in the investigation of crimes committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons
•Specialized training programmes on human rights and sexual diversity
199.In 2020, the Supreme Court, aware of the need to assist in the prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to contribute to strengthening efforts to ensure due process for women in detention, decided to strengthen the specialized court system for a life free of violence and discrimination for women by establishing the second such specialized court in San Salvador, and another in Cojutepeque, which will become operational in 2021 and will reduce the caseload of the current specialized court of investigation by 60 per cent.
200.Between 2018 and 2020, training was provided for the specialized courts for a life free of violence and discrimination for women and the ordinary criminal courts that deal with the same subject matter, with the aim of strengthening the knowledge of judicial personnel who apply the legislation on gender-based violence and discrimination.
201.Efforts have been made to combat discrimination against women on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. With support from UNICEF, a gender- and diversity-sensitive care guide for helplines was published and disseminated; it is being distributed to judges in various jurisdictions, judicial support staff and professionals in multidisciplinary teams, among others.
202.In 2019, the Technical Unit for Comprehensive Support for Victims and Gender was created to promote the implementation and institutionalization of the gender perspective and gender equity within the judicial branch and to enhance access to justice for victims of violence.
203.In implementation of the law and to support efforts to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security carries out the following actions:
•It participates in the LGBTI Round Table, working on the formulation of LGBTI policy
•It is drafting a protocol, currently under review, for prison staff on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, aimed at guaranteeing decent conditions of detention and equal treatment without discrimination
•It updates statistics on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons so that they can receive targeted attention that meets their needs
•Together with governmental and non-governmental organizations, it coordinates awareness-raising activities for prison staff
•It has designated the remand centre and prison in Jucuapa exclusively for prosecuted and convicted persons belonging to the LGBTI community so as to provide them with specialized care and improve their health and living conditions
•The Gender Unit, in coordination with the Prison Staff Training Academy, provides training to prison officials to strengthen their knowledge of diversity in order to ensure that the LGBTI population is treated in accordance with the principles of equality, equity, inclusion and non-discrimination
204.The police force operates the Institutional Policy on Gender Equity and Equality 2011–2021, and its 3 action plans contain 12 strategic action lines. The first, seventh, ninth and twelfth strategic action lines contain elements related to differential treatment, statistical registration, criteria for differentiated spaces and the use of non-discriminatory language for the LGBTI population.
205.Strategic Line 1: “Review and develop action protocols that regulate police services and procedures, mainstreaming the philosophy of community policing and a gender equity approach, to ensure specialized intervention that respects human rights and takes into account the characteristics of each individual according to their needs, interests and differences.” The following instruments have been developed: instructions on differential treatment of human diversity, with a gender and human rights approach, in police services for victims and witnesses; protocol on differential treatment of human diversity, with a gender and human rights approach, in the framework of police action and procedures of the Road Traffic Division; protocol on differential treatment of human diversity, with a gender and human rights approach, in the framework of police action and procedures of the Border Security Division; protocol on differential treatment of human diversity, with a gender and human rights approach, in the framework of police action and procedures of the Division for the Enforcement of Judicial Decisions.
206.Strategic Line 7: “Incorporate gender criteria into the entire institutional information system with regard to police activity and crime rates to allow for qualitative and quantitative analysis,” reflected in the IMPERIUM digital platform for statistical registration, update the complaints module in operation in each of the police headquarters nationwide and incorporate the fields for the registration of the gender identity and sexual orientation of the LGTBI population involved in acts of violence as victims or perpetrators.
207.Strategic Line 9: “Ensure that police furniture, clothing and equipment is appropriate to the needs, characteristics and different anthropometric measurements of men and women who work in the institution, including special situations such as disability and pregnancy,” and include a section on general standards in the Infrastructure Division’s Standards and Procedures Manual.
208.Strategic Line 12: “Create, strengthen and implement communication strategies that are respectful of human rights, highlighting the contribution of both genders to ensure well-being, and avoid reproducing traditional stereotypes about the roles of men and women.” The following instruments have been developed: Instructions for coordinating institutional communication to the media and regulations applicable to the police disciplinary regime.
209.The Ministry of Culture has made efforts to combat discrimination against women based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and has designed and implemented awareness-raising and training activities for civil servants and the general public, including:
•Developing the skills of public servants to promote and guarantee equal rights and conditions for the entire population through:
(a)The design of training courses on the culture of equality, including the module “Homophobia as a behavioural regulator”
(b)The Ministry of Culture, in coordination with the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women, has run informative workshops through its Substantive Equality Training School and launched its online Open Platform. Workshops have been organized on the following themes: perceptions of masculinity and shared responsibility; the principle of non-discrimination; a life without violence for women; and homophobia as a behavioural regulator
(c)Training and awareness-raising on human rights, gender and sexual diversity for public entities, including the Attorney General’s Office, the National Registry of Natural Persons, the General Directorate for Migration and Alien Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development Bank of El Salvador and the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women
•Developing a cultural management model, based on equality and respect for diversity, by:
(a)Promoting research into different aspects related to population groups that face exclusion, discrimination and vulnerability, especially women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons
(b)Launching the journal Identidades 15, Studies on the LGBTI+ population in El Salvador and Central America
(c)Organizing the third digital LGBTI film festival, in partnership with the Cuban Embassy in El Salvador and with the support of ASPIDH (the Solidarity Association for the Promotion of Human Development)
•Coordinating governmental inter-institutional communication to apply an approach based on respect for diversity, inclusion and gender equity, through:
(a)The Ministry of Health, through the National HIV Programme, has issued instructions for the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons living with HIV during the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the delivery of medicines to avoid health complications and provide the minimum essential conditions for the normal and full development of life
(b)Coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to international conferences, declarations and other communications related to the LGBTI population
(c)Coordination with the National Development Bank of El Salvador to support women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons
(d)Advice and support for the National Registry’s Inclusion and Gender Plan
Recommendations contained in paragraphs 44 and 45 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Indigenous women)
210.The State has made significant efforts to adopt specific measures to prevent discrimination and promote the rights of indigenous women, including the following.
211.The National Policy for Rural, Indigenous and Campesina Women was designed to transform rural development policies into instruments that guarantee human rights and promote the autonomy of rural women, with a focus on campesina and indigenous women. The policy is aligned with article 36 of the Act on Equality, Equity and Elimination of Discrimination against Women and contains guidelines and measures to promote non-discrimination, social inclusion, economic autonomy, political and civic participation, food security, climate change action and the cultural protection of rural, indigenous and campesina women.
212.In follow-up to the agreements reached at the first World Conference of Indigenous Peoples, a consultation process was undertaken to formulate the Public Policy for the Indigenous Peoples of El Salvador, the objective of which is to engage in public administration for and with indigenous peoples, based on their rights and world view, through transformative social action. That process culminated in the adoption of the National Action Plan for Indigenous Peoples in 2018.
213.The Ministry of Health introduced the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Policy in 2018 to guarantee the right to comprehensive health care for the country’s indigenous peoples, with an intercultural and gender perspective and recognizing and respecting indigenous knowledge and wisdom and incorporating it into the national health system. The policy is the result of consensus and inter-institutional coordination with organizations that protect the rights of the country’s indigenous peoples and with government ministries and institutions.
Recommendations contained in paragraphs 46 and 47 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Women in detention)
214.Pursuant to the ratification of international treaties covered by article 144 of the Constitution, the prison system complies with inter-institutional agreements aimed at guaranteeing due process for persons deprived of their liberty.
215.According to reports from the Ilopango women’s remand centre and prison and the Izalco prison farm, which as of March 2021 housed a total of 757 prosecuted women, the following actions are being carried out in order to respect due legal process.
216.Legal advice: They are informed about their rights and duties within the facilities. Logistics are coordinated to ensure that women deprived of their liberty attend scheduled hearings. Legal assistance is provided by the prison’s technical criminology team. The Attorney General’s Office provides inter-institutional support, the Public Prosecution Service and judges take action when cases require it, and private lawyers give professional advice with regard to inmates’ legal proceedings.
217.Accommodation: A technical assessment is carried out to determine inmates’ personal circumstances and state of health in order to ensure that they are appropriately classified in relation to accommodation, security and enjoyment of the basic services necessary in the detention process.
218.Health: A medical evaluation is performed to identify each detainee’s state of health. In the case of illness, detainees receive treatment at the prison clinic or in an establishment of the Ministry of Health network, if appropriate. At the same time, the technical criminology team or the Prison Unit for Human Rights implement a strategy of contacting the detainee’s family to purchase additional medication. This measure guarantees the right to health to the extent possible. Persons with physical and mental disabilities who are unable to follow the ordinary prison regime are transferred to special facilities.
Recommendation contained in paragraph 51 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action)
219.In 2019, there was a national review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000), which reflects progress in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. This review was carried out on the basis of the Beijing Platform for Action and contributes to the fulfilment of obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Recommendation contained in paragraph 52 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
220.In El Salvador, gender equality and girls’ and women’s rights and empowerment have been mainstreamed into the 2030 Agenda in order to contribute to progress on all goals and targets, bearing in mind that the elimination of discrimination against women and girls is a prerequisite for achieving many other Sustainable Development Goals, such as ensuring universal access to health care (targets 3.1, 3.7 and 5.6), equal access to affordable and quality education at all levels (targets 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6), access to the labour market (targets 8.3, 8.5 and 8.8) and participation in political life (targets 5.5, 10.2 and 10.3).
221.El Salvador is making efforts to ensure the enjoyment of rights and opportunities by women, who make up more than half of the population. Accordingly, the National Agenda for Sustainable Development was developed for the short term, initially prioritizing eight of the Sustainable Development Goals and some specific targets from the other goals. One of the priority Sustainable Development Goals is Goal 5 on gender equality.
Recommendation contained in paragraph 53 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Dissemination)
222.During the period from July to October 2017, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held working sessions, with the participation of 302 delegates from all the institutions with responsibility for implementing the concluding observations, women representatives of the advisory committees and feminist and women’s organizations, in order to present and discuss the recommendations contained in the concluding observations and incorporate them into the following planning instruments:
•The National Equality Plan
•The Policy Plan for Women’s Access to a Violence-Free Life
•The Plan for the Implementation of Resolution 1325
Recommendation contained in paragraph 54 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/SLV/CO/8-9) (Follow-up to concluding observations)
223.In March 2017, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women presented its concluding observations on the combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of El Salvador, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-sixth session (held from 13 February to 3 March 2017).
224.Among its recommendations, the Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps taken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 13 (a) and (b) (Access to justice) and 17 (a) and (c) (National machinery for the advancement of women). The report was prepared with input from various institutions and submitted to the Committee in March 2019.