Central America Women’s Network


Central America Women’s Network (CAWN) works in solidarity with women’s organisations in Central America, supporting them to defend their rights, fostering links between women’s organisations in the United Kingdom and Central America and raising awareness of the concerns of Central American women amongst the public, NGOs and policy makers.

“Poverty is an issue of women’s organisations but we must change the technical discussion of poverty into a political discourse. It is essential to empower women for them to come out of poverty.”     Mirta Kennedy, CEMH – Honduras

“Women need to be empowered with knowledge that will be tools in the search for alternative survival strategies in a globalised world.” – Mabel Aguirre, MEC – Nicaragua

CAWN’s work on reproductive rights


Abortion is criminalised throughout Central America. El Salvador and Nicaragua have the most stringent bans on abortion, which allow for no exception for cases of rape, incest, threat to the mother’s health or severe foetus abnormality – not even to save a woman’s life in immediate risk. Honduras and Guatemala share similar legislations although emergency abortion – to save the mother’s life – is permitted.

Working in partnership with the Citizens Group for the Decriminalisation of the Therapeutic, Ethic and Eugenesic Abortion (ACDATEE) in El Salvador and with Grupo Venancia in Nicaragua we conduct advocacy on behalf of our partners in British and European policy-making forums.

CAWN also disseminates calls for solidarity from the region and raise awarness among the public of the difficult situation women face in Central America in the mainstream and alternative media as well as through research and publications.

On 28 September 2012, Central America Women’s Network published ‘Maternal Health, Reproductive Rights and the Criminalisation of Abortion in Central America’ to coincide with the day of action and demonstrate solidarity with the 28 September campaign in Central America. This year, CAWN is pleased to be part of the Festival of Choice, especially to raise awareness of the 17’s campaign.

Grant pardons for 17 Salvadoran women imprisoned for pregnancy complications
Support the 17s campaign 

Join El Salvador’s Asociación Ciudadana’s (Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic Abortion) campaign ‘We are all the 17. They are women who come for poor economic backgrounds. Most had obstetric problems during their pregnancies and gave birth without medical assistance. They were bleeding when got to hospital asking for help, and once there, they were reported and prosecuted for aggravated murder. In the video of the campaign, each woman’s life is represented as a flower, and the request is to not let their lives wither.

Sign the petition ‘We are all the 17′ from RH Reality Check, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, the Salvadoran Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion and 6,847 other signers to tell the government of El Salvador to grant pardons for 17 Salvadoran women imprisoned for pregnancy complications.

You can also participate in the photo campaign by sending your picture holding a flower to rose@cawn.org.

Help CAWN continue to support our partners in Central America

Donate to CAWN on our MyDonate BT page


Fundraise for CAWN, for example by purchasing tickets to the Bromley Boy Singers at the Brandenburg Choral Festival inspired by the anniversary of the Great War, on Saturday, 25 October. Half the money of the tickets purchased through CAWN will be donated to CAWN by Brandenburg.



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