After talking to Marta García Sánchez during the activities of the "Day against Violance Towards Women and Children" in the park of Santa Bárbara on Wednesday, 23th of November, we contacted her again to get more information about the Oficina Municipal de la Mujer in Santa Bárbara.
In the interview she told us about her work and the functions of the office.
Amistad Institute: What are the functions of the Oficina Municipal de la Mujer in Santa Bárbara?
Marta Garcia: Well, we want to provide service and orientation for women who have faced or still face domestical violence and we refer to other institutions. Another function is to work together with the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje that offers education for young people from the age of 15 in order to improve their development.
A I: Are there any groups that support your organisation and how do they help?
M: Yes, they have organized workshops for women in these situations for eight years. If a woman comes to the office at first we have to pay attention and to renew her lost self esteem. Then one offers options what she could do but she has to do it voluntarily. Furthermore we inform about the rights women have and that these are the same rights as the men's ones. But unfortunatley not all of them dare to join these meetings and only come infrequently, a lot of them are afraid because of their husbands.
A I: How many women come to your office in a week?
M: That depends, between November and early January there are less women coming than in other months because it is coffee harvest season and therefore a lot of them do not have the time to come. But we also have higher educated women in our groups, which shows that violence towards women does not depend on the level of education.
A I: What are the reasons for violence towards women in your opinion?
M: Most of all it is machismo which still is very common in rural areas.
A I: How can you avoid violence in advance?
M: You have to educate children at home. What we need is more sexual education since there are lots of pregnant young women.
A I: How can people cantact the Oficina de la Mujer in Santa Bárbara?
M: Our working hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., but it would be great to talk to me in andvance, because I always have lots of apointments. It is also possible to write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone number: 2269-9081.
A. I: Thank you very much for your time.
M: You are welcome.
* By Tanja Dragon, Werner Jacobs and Sophie Thielecke
Translated by Lena Kessel and Sophie Thielecke