EQUAL. Equitable Access for Women and Girls


Reduce the risk of child labor, forced labor and other violations of the labor rights of women and adolescent girls who work in the agricultural sector.

  • Incidence at the federal, state and municipal levels
  • Collaboration with the private sector
  • Sensitize agricultural workers and communities
  • Access to education

Main Donor:
U.S. Department of Labor

Duration of the project:
December 2019-December 2023


Area of implementation:
Oaxaca and Veracruz, Mexico.

Allies and operative partners:
World Vision Mexico (Coordinator), Solidaridad Internacional Kanda, AC (SiKanda) in Oaxaca, Verité, Inc. in Veracruz.

Perspective of the Project for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI):

The EQUAL project was designed considering the perspective of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) used by World Vision to address the causes of gender inequality and violations of labor rights towards women and adolescents vulnerable to child labor and forced labor in sugarcane and coffee supply chains.

World Vision defines gender equality as the state or condition that allows women and girls, men and boys, the equal enjoyment of socially valued human rights, goods, opportunities and resources. It includes expanding freedoms and opportunities for participation, balancing power dynamics and relationships, transforming gender roles, and improving overall quality of life for men and women to reach their full potential.

EQUAL’s Theory of Change includes five domains that require change to achieve greater gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Those five domains are: access, decision-making, participation, systems, and well-being.

ACCESS | The ability to access, use, control and / or own assets, resources,
opportunities, services, benefits, infrastructure.

DECISION MAKING | The ability to make decisions free of coercion at the individual, family, community and social level.

PARTICIPATION | The level of involvement in social issues and power systems that influence and determine the development of communities.

SYSTEMS | Inclusive systems that promote equity, consider the different needs of vulnerable populations, and create enabling environments for their participation.

WELLNESS | Agency, ability, and status, in relation to trust, dignity, sense of worth, security, health, and overall physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

This perspective applies to the EQUAL project, IF …

  • Women, adolescents, men and children have equal access, decision-making, respect and participation at the individual, family, community and social level;
  • The most vulnerable women and adolescents have improved their well-being through life skills training, technical vocational training and support for education, employment or entrepreneurship opportunities; AND
  • Public and private sector systems are (1) equitable, fair, and inclusive for the protection and economic participation of women and adolescent girls; and (2) strengthened to implement mechanisms that identify violations of labor rights and guarantee the follow-up of cases;


  • Women and adolescent girls have the economic and social power to mobilize, have a voice and reach their maximum potential;
  • Households have equity, justice, shared responsibility and relationships balanced;
  • Communities participate in collective actions, mobilization and resilience towards the protection and economic participation of women and adolescents; AND
  • Public and private sector systems undergo transformative changes  to protect and promote gender equality and the fulfillment of labor rights.

Training and empowerment

  • Women and girls receive trainings and workshops to improve their agency capacity.
  • Specific life skills will include topics such as communication, negotiation / defense of rights, among other soft skills.
  • Livelihood training would include topics related to job search, savings groups, challenging gender norms in the workplace, life planning and other forms of job readiness.
  • Women and adolescent girls receive support from the project to seek educational, entrepreneurial or employment opportunities.
  • Those in education or employment receive vocational or technical training.
    Those in entrepreneurship receive training, form groups that become small businesses and receive seed capital support.
  • Communities are sensitized and mobilized to promote gender equality and the economic and social empowerment of women and girls.
  • Men and boys in the communities receive gender training to address their attitudes, beliefs and practices about the role of women and adolescent girls at work and at home.
  • The community receives training from Citizenship, Voice and Action from World Vision to educate them on the rights and vulnerabilities of women and adolescents, and empower them with tools to create action plans that influence the attention to gender and security problems that exist in the home, community and society.
  • Improved practices by government and private sector actors to increase economic opportunities for women and girls of legal working age and reduce their vulnerability to child labor, forced labor and other labor rights violations, including OSH violations within the agricultural sector.

Women (over 18 years old) and adolescents (15 to 17 years old who do not attend school) who work in the sugar or coffee sector and live in marginalized agricultural communities.

Increase the social and economic empowerment of women and girls in the agricultural sector, protected from violations of labor rights and violations of safety and health at work.

  • Mechanisms, policies, processes and procedures are developed and strengthened to protect women and adolescents who work in the sugar cane and coffee sectors. For example, the project will develop a local Complaints Reporting and Information Dissemination System (GRID) for each sector with a number of help and complaints available in the target communities.
  • Sugarcane and coffee actors are sensitized to gender inequalities and vulnerabilities that affect women and adolescent girls in their supply chains, trained in the use of compliance and referral mechanisms (i.e. GRID) and supported by the development of action plans. For example, EQUAL will implement the system of OSH promoters, project staff (trained in discrimination and gender violence at work) who provide technical assistance and training to sugar mills and producer associations to address OSH standards.
  • Government policies and programs at the federal, state, and municipal levels are strengthened to improve access to social and economic programs for women and girls.
  • Better coordination of services among government stakeholders that protect women and girls (from forced labor, child labor, gender-based violence and other labor violations) and increase their economic participation in agricultural supply chains.
  • Strengthening of referral and referral mechanisms that identify and report cases of labor exploitation. Connect the local network system in the private sector to municipal and state government so that cases are referred to relevant legal and social services when appropriate.

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