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Public Statement 2015

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MolojKino’jib’alMayib’ Ixoqib’ (MOLOJ)

Title Civic engagement of Mayan women in Guatemala
Type of organization Grassroots organization
Country Guatemala
Duration  Three years
IAF Funding   $201,520
Counterpart Committed $128,235 ($88,535 in cash; $39,700 in kind)
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries

Direct: 500 
Indirect: 2,500

Primary program areas Education/training

Organizational Background: 
MolojKino’jib’alMayib’ Ixoqib’ (MOLOJ), comprised of 94 indigenous women, has been working with female indigenous grassroots leaders since 1999 to develop their leadership potential and the skills necessary to greater inclusion in economic life and social services. To date, MOLOJ’s program has benefited hundreds of women throughout Guatemala. MOLOJ’s members were crucial to the development of “Defensoría de la Mujer Indígena,” which is charged with assuring access to justice for indigenous women and to enforcing the right of residents of six municipalities to participate in planning the municipal budget. MOLOJ has placed some 60 young indigenous women, including its current executive director, in internships with the Guatemalan Congress and other government bodies. A general assembly of its membership representing 15 Guatemalan departments governs MOLOJ and appoints its board of directors, all of whom maintain close ties with their rural communities of origin. The staff consists of indigenous women whose affiliation often dates back years. MOLOJ has received funding from the United Nations Development Programme, Hivos International, Ibis/Guatemala, Focus of Norway and Diakonia of Sweden.

Project Objective: To increase the participation of indigenous women in civic life.

Description: MolojKino’jib’alMayib’ Ixoqib’ (MOLOJ) will raise awareness on the importance of diversity in government so that marginalized groups and communities are represented, encourage respect for indigenous women and further their participation in civic life. The work will directly involve 500 indigenous women and benefit some 2,500 other Guatemalans.

Rationale for funding: Indigenous Guatemalans, especially women, are seriously underrepresented in elected positions in Guatemala and in the civil service. MOLOJ’s proposal to encourage greater participation of indigenous women in the public sector is consistent with the IAF’s strategic goal furthering inclusion of marginalized groups in their country’s civic life.

Learning Opportunity: MOLOJ will show what measures are effective in persuading the public on the value of the contribution of indigenous women and in encouraging their civic engagement.