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International development

Colombia: Reversing the impact of armed conflict on women

May 5, 2021

Colombia is still recovering from the armed conflict that pitted the government against several guerrilla groups for over 40 years. Even today, the country has the second highest number of landmine victims after Afghanistan and the highest number of internally displaced people.

Women in rural areas: doubly affected

The Colombian countryside, which is often marginalized, poorly represented nationally and excluded from the growth process of large urban centres, has been particularly hard hit by conflict. Women have also been severely affected, as they have to support their families when family members die or disappear but are also victims of systematic acts of violence. As a result, rural women have faced particularly difficult conditions, even after conflict ceased.

PROFEM: Contributing to post-conflict efforts

Signed in 2016, the peace agreement aimed at reversing the effects of conflict in rural areas and promote the well being of the regions' inhabitants and their social and economic development. By targeting this population, the PROFEM project conducted by Développement international Desjardins will improve the daily lives of rural Colombian women and increase gender equality in these regions.

The PROFEM project will last for 4 years (2020–2024) and is aimed at populations living in rural areas. Its objective is to train 10,000 women and young people through comprehensive financial literacy programs. It will also support at least 5 financial institutions operating in the target areas to adapt their services and make them more accessible to women and young people. Lastly, the project will set up a guarantee program to open credit to these client segments.