The federal government slashed this year’s funding for programs that benefit women and girls by almost 2 billion pesos, an analysis of the 2019 and 2020 budgets found.
The newspaper El Universal reported that the administration of President López Obrador cut the funding for, or eliminated entirely, 20 programs that support females.
The programs were allocated funding of 2.7 billion pesos in 2019 but were assigned just 835 million pesos – a cut of 1.87 billion pesos (US $97.9 million) or 69% – in the 2020 budget.
Nine of the 20 programs were defunded completely, El Universal said. Among them: an Education Ministry program for inclusive and equitable education, a childcare scheme that benefited mothers who work at the Health Ministry and a federal Attorney General’s Office program that promoted respect for women’s rights.
Among the programs whose funding was cut were a childcare scheme that benefits mothers who work at the Welfare Ministry, an Interior Ministry (Segob) initiative that promotes human rights and gender equality, a Segob scheme that aims to eliminate gender discrimination and a Labor Ministry women’s employment program.
The federal government’s response to women’s needs has come under increased scrutiny since the gruesome deaths earlier this month of a 25-year-old woman who was killed by her partner and the abduction and murder of a 7-year-old girl.
Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero admitted Friday that serious action by the government to combat violence against women had “arrived late,” but she said that it is now committed to tackling the problem head on.
A national women’s strike is planned for March 9, the day after International Women’s Day, to protest against the high levels of gender-based violence. Members of the government, including Sánchez, as well as opposition lawmakers, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, state governors and universities have expressed their support for the strike, which could cost the economy tens of billions of pesos.
Source: El Universal (sp)