Talking Points for International Women’s Day 


March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a day to amplify the struggle women face to achieve equality across various areas of their lives. Today is an opportunity to keep demanding an end to sexist and patriarchal practices that prevent women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean from developing their full potential and living in dignity with freedom from violence.


Alianza Americas — a multi-ethnic network of U.S. based migrant-led organizations — developed the following talking points for organizational leaders to raise their voices and advocate for women’s rights, especially for those who had to flee their countries of origin to escape violence.


Gender pay gap

  • We recognize that progress has been made in integrating women into the workforce in countries across Latin America; however, women continue to face a inequitablegender pay gap. The data speaks for itself. According to ECLAC’s Social Panorama, in 2022, the female labor participation rate was 51.1%, while the male rate was 74.9%. This gap widens even more when analyzing income. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the gender wage gap was 4.0% in Colombia in 2019, 4.7% in Costa Rica in 2018, 6.3% in Argentina in 2021, 8.6% in Chile in 2020, 9.1% in Brazil in 2021, 12.5% in Mexico in 2021, and 16.9% in the United States in 2021. While in El Salvador, in 2021 , official figures show that the average monthly income of men was $379.13 USD, while that of women was  $325.12 USD, reflecting a gap of approximately $54.01 USD per month. These figures are according to the Foundation for the Development of Central America.


  • Other manifestations of this inequity include the lack of economic independence for women. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America, in Honduras in 2018, 36.1% of women ages 15 and older lacked their own income, compared to 13.9% of men.


  • In addition to making women’s paid work and their contribution to family and personal economies more visible, it is essential to highlight the unpaid care work that women do for their families, which has an impact on the gender wage gap. Cultural changes and labor protections are fundamental to advance the creation of more equitable societies.


  • Along with caregiving, many women are the only source of income for their households, whether they are single-parent or female head of households. These women face the challenge of being both workers and caregivers. According to ECLAC’s Gender Equality Observatory, in Mexico, women head of households  dedicate 40.6 hours per week to unpaid work, in contrast to the 17.1 hours dedicated by men. This difference was exacerbated after the pandemic, when many women had to quit their jobs to devote themselves exclusively to caregiving.


  • Efforts to advance towards labor equity require cultural and social changes, which must be promoted through public policies and legislation aimed at eliminating gender pay gaps. Achieving equity between men and women in the labor and economic spheres would have profound benefits on social justice and women’s well-being, which would translate into a better quality of life for families and economic progress for all of society.


Violent deaths and disappearances

  • For years, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have been ranked as the most violent countries for women in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to data from ECLAC’s Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, in 2021, Honduras was the country with the highest number of femicides in the region, with a total of 234 cases (4.6 cases per 100,000 women). El Salvador was the sixth country with the most femicides, with a total of 80 cases (2.4 cases per 100,000 women). Mexico reported 1,015 cases (4.6 cases per 100,000 women). On the other hand, in Guatemala, the disappearances of women have increased since 2011, according to official records, where they exceed those of men.


  • The approval of legislation that criminalizes femicide or increases penalties for gender-based violence has not contributed to reducing violence against women. The high rates of femicides indicate that it is essential to work on strengthening protective measures. The challenge is not to increase criminal prosecution of the people who commit gender based violence, but to address the causes of the crimes, and to create the conditions necessary for women and girls to live lives free of violence.



  • Women are forced to flee violent situations, both in their homes and outside of their homes. The weakness and ineffectiveness of protective systems are a central element that forces women to seek safety in another country. Protection they cannot find on their own.


  • In addition, women and girls are forced to leave their communities and families because of the lack of economic opportunities due to the gender wage gap: they receive less income than their male counterparts, have less access to financial services and real estate, are the most affected by unemployment — aggravated during the covid-19 pandemic — and are responsible for caring for their families. Women migrate in search of opportunities and systems of protection that do not exist in their home countries.


  • According to the UN, women represent almost half of the 244 million migrants and half of the 19.6 million refugees across the globe.. Migrants, especially female migrants, have higher labor force participation rates (72.7%) than non-migrants (63.9%). The remittances that migrant women send to their families in their countries of origin strengthen not only the livelihoods of entire families, but also the economy of their home countries.

Support our work!

Alianza Americas is the only transnational organization rooted in Latinx immigrant communities in the U.S. that focuses on improving quality of life for all people in the U.S.-Mexico-Central America migration corridor. Join our community of advocates by making a donation to support initiatives that empower immigrant communities!

Spread the love