Asociacion Movimiento de Mujeres Trabajadoras y Desempleadas "Maria ELena Cuadra"

"The Maria Elena Cuadra Movement of Women Workers and Unemployed Women develops its works along the following lines and actions: (i) Promotion and strengthening of women's organization; (ii) Promotion, protection and defense of labor and gender rights of maquila workers, domestic workers and unemployed women. (iii) Education in human, labor and gender rights, in order to promote the defense and exercising of the same; (iv) Training for leaders and promoters of health, human and labor rights. (v) Support for the economic and social betterment of working and unemployed women. (vi) Promotion of self-employment and (vi) Institutional strengthening. In the enterprises based in the special industrial zone (zona franca), the MEC has a network of women workers made up of approximately 10,000 people and a network of voluntary promoters of some 1,500 women working in different companies on a national level. Outside the special industrial zone, MEC also has influence in a large group of women working in different areas (domestic workers, micro enterprises, young unemployed women, small scale mines) but who generally coincide in their neighborhoods, as a space for living and socializing. The strategy here has been to create and strengthen a network of women entrepreneurs, which brings together women that are developing diverse productive activities. This network is made up of approximately 1,290 small business women, supported by a MEC program called Economic and Social Initiatives. Almost all of MEC's work is carried out in social sectors in which the recognition for labor rights continues to be fragile; all of the studies and research done about labor rights in the special industrial zones and in the informal sector, indicate high levels of non-compliance with these rights in different aspects. Among the rights not respected are: (i) the right to organize and to negotiate; (ii) healthy, hygienic and safe working conditions; (iii) access to justice. "

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