Throughout our time in Mexico thus far we have been to several public institutions to learn about different social programs here in Mexico. This week the entire CGE group took a trip to the Instituto de la Mujer here in Cuernavaca to learn about their programs. We spoke with a psychologist there and learned that their main goal at the center is to end violence, especially in relationships. They strive to promote the conditions that enable equal opportunities, equal treatment of men and women alike, and ending discrimination. One thing that she talked a lot about was their women’s shelter. They have three temporary shelters for women who have been experiencing violence and are trying to escape it. The first thing that happens when they arrive to the shelter is psychological counseling for the mother and her children. She also told us that boys over the age of 11 are not allowed to stay in the shelters with their Mothers. However there is a shelter specifically for the teenage boys where the mothers are allowed to visit. The shelters also have a lawyer covering each case and occupational therapy to help the women get back into the workforce. There is also a social worker in each one who works with the schools to make sure the kids get support and don’t get behind, to help with filling out documents, and to also do field research. At the Instituto de la Mujer they not only work with women in crisis but they also work with prevention of violence. There are workshops, talks, conferences and courses for both men and women on the prevention of violence based on gender. One workshop that really caught my attention that I thought was cool was a workshop called “amores chidos” or “cool love”. It is a workshop for high school students to help them learn how to detect relationship violence early on while they are dating. I think that it is important to have workshops like this so that relationship violence and gender inequality can be reduced. What can we as a society do to help stop violence within relationships as well as gender inequality all over the world?
-Kayla Wollf (student)