ASUNCION – A women’s center opened its doors on Friday in Villa Elisa – some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the Paraguayan capital – with a mission to provide a range of services free of charge, including health care, education and job training, daycare and support for women suffering with domestic violence.
The opening ceremony was attended by President Horacio Cartes and members of his Cabinet.
The minister of women’s issues, Ana Maria Baiardi, thanked her colleagues for the assistance rendered by 15 government agencies to make the Ciudad Mujer (Woman City) project a reality.
“Ciudad Mujer is an endeavor in which women will be fulfilled, will be respected, will receive the services they truly deserve,” Baiardi said.
The minister said that the center, modeled on a similar initiative in El Salvador, will mark a “before and after in the lives of many women,” providing them with the tools “to face the challenges life brings.”
Eduardo Almeida, the Paraguay representative of the Inter American Development Bank, which contributed $650,000 to the project, recounted the evolution of the plan since the IDB first presented it to Baiardi in 2013.
“Up until now, Paraguay has benefited from the experience that we at the IBD have brought to the country,” Almeida said. “But going forward, Paraguay will be a regional benchmark of women’s services. “We will be able to export what is being done here.”