Using the case of El Salvador, this paper explores how women's organizational skills developed in civil war translate into work in NGOs in the post-conflict struggle for rights. The paper briefly describes the gender stratification methodology used in the analysis and then presents the situation in El Salvador before, during, and after the war. After discussing how Salvadoran women, despite quite limited economic power, became a well-organized force that was strategically indispensable to the rebels during the war, the paper examines factors that contributed to the success of Las Madres Demandantes (LMD), an NGO focused on the single issue of getting child support payments to women. The experience of other NGOs in El Salvador is reviewed with respect to the factors that contributed to the success of LMD. In conclusion, a few lessons from the issues faced by the post-conflict women's NGOs in El Salvador are presented.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1978. Stratification: Socioeconomic and Sexual Inequality. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1984. “A General Theory of Gender Stratification.” Pp. 23-101 in Sociological Theory 1984, edited by Randall Collins. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1991, ed. Gender, Family and Economy: The Triple Overlap. Newbury Park, CA and London: Sage.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1998a. “Gender Equality as a Human Right: Empowerment, Women and Human Rights-Past, Present and Future.”INSTRAW News.No. 29, Second Semester.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1998b. “Lessons from the 1998 USAID Women in Politics Research in Ecuador, El Salvador, Nepal and Thailand.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development/Management Systems International, interim report.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1998c. “Climbing the Pyramid of Power: Gender and Politics in El Salvador.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development/Management Systems International, draft.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 2001.“ We Are Family: Gender, Microenterprise, FamilyWork andWellbeing in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic-with Comparative Data from Guatemala, Swaziland and Guinea-Bissau.” The History of the Family: An International Quarterly.
Friedman, Thomas. 1998. The Lexus and the Olive Tree. New York
Gonzalez, Maria Lidia. 1998. Key informant interview with Member of the Board, Asociacion de Madres Demandantes, San Salvador, October.
Lopez, Aracely. 1998. Key informant interview with President of Las Dignas, San Salvador, October.
Lueker, Lorna. 1998. “Women,War and Liberation in Zimbabwe.” Dissertation, University of California, San Diego.
Lueker, Lorna. 2000. Presentation at Risks and Rights Symposium, University of Illinois, Urbana.
Mendez, Dinora. 1998. Numerous key informant interviews with Executive Director, Organizacion Empresarial Femenina (OEF), during fieldwork in San Salvador, San Vicente and Chalatenango Departments, October.
Murcia, Ana. 1998. Key informant interview with Coordinator of Las Dignas, San Salvador, October.
Otero, Maria and Elisabeth Rhyne, eds. 1994. The New World of Microenterprise Finance: Building Healthy Financial Institutions for the Poor. West Hartford, CN and London: Kumarian Press and Intermediate Technology Publications, Ltd.
Polanco, Ruth. 1998.Key informant interview with Co-coordinator of Las Dignas, San Salvador, October.
Sivard, Ruth Leger. 1995. Women:::A World Survey. 2d. edition. Washington, D.C.: World Priorities.
Tesak, Ildiko. 1998. Key informant interviews with President of the Board, Organizacion Empresarial Femenina (OEF), San Salvador, October.
Valladares, Marta (“La Nidia”-her nom de guerre). 1998.Key informant interview with famed former FMLN military commander, currently a Deputy and FMLN 1999 Vice Presidential candidate, San Salvador, October.
Vasquez, Vilma. 1998. Key informant interviews with Consultant, Asociacion de Madres Demandantes, San Salvador, October.
Velado, Margarita. 1998.Key informant interview with Consultant, Human Rights Commission, San Salvador, October.
Villalobos, Ana Daisi. 1998. Key informant interview with Member of the Board, Las Dignas, San Salvador, October.
Zamora, Aracely. 1998. Key informant interview with Associate Commissioner for Women's Rights, Human Rights Commission, Women's Rights Secretariat, San Salvador, October.
About this article
Cite this article
Blumberg, R.L. Risky Business: What Happens to Gender Equality and Women's Rights in Post-Conflict Societies? Insights from NGO's in El Salvador. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 15, 161–173 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011128119046
- gender stratification
- El Salvador
- post-conflict societies
- women's NGOs