Friday, March 14, 2014

Instituto de la Mujer

Instituto de la Mujer Sign
(Women´s Institute)

Throughout our time in Mexico thus far we have been to several public institutions to learn about different social programs here in Mexico. This week the entire CGE group took a trip to the Instituto de la Mujer here in Cuernavaca to learn about their programs. We spoke with a psychologist there and learned that their main goal at the center is to end violence, especially in relationships. They strive to promote the conditions that enable equal opportunities, equal treatment of men and women alike, and ending discrimination. One thing that she talked a lot about was their women’s shelter. They have three temporary shelters for women who have been experiencing violence and are trying to escape it. The first thing that happens when they arrive to the shelter is psychological counseling for the mother and her children. She also told us that boys over the age of 11 are not allowed to stay in the shelters with their Mothers. However there is a shelter specifically for the teenage boys where the mothers are allowed to visit. The shelters also have a lawyer covering each case and occupational therapy to help the women get back into the workforce. There is also a social worker in each one who works with the schools to make sure the kids get support and don’t get behind, to help with filling out documents, and to also do field research. At the Instituto de la Mujer they not only work with women in crisis but they also work with prevention of violence. There are workshops, talks, conferences and courses for both men and women on the prevention of violence based on gender. One workshop that really caught my attention that I thought was cool was a workshop called “amores chidos” or “cool love”. It is a workshop for high school students to help them learn how to detect relationship violence early on while they are dating. I think that it is important to have workshops like this so that relationship violence and gender inequality can be reduced. What can we as a society do to help stop violence within relationships as well as gender inequality all over the world?

CGE Group after the talk at Instituto de la Mujer
-Kayla Wollf (student)


  1. Thanks for sharing such a detailed description of social work and the bright group photo!

    Tony Bibus

  2. Kayla,
    Thanks for sharing on the Instituto de la Mujer. That is an impressive support system with counseling, legal help and occupational therapy. I think it's cool that you thought the "cool love" workshop was cool (just kidding). It is important to deal with relational violence early on and hopefully education will help prevent it from occurring. Strong legal protection and domestic support is crucial, but I think education and increasing awareness is the starting point for ending gender violence and inequality; being proactive rather than just reactive. It's a global problem and we have to start somewhere. I hope the rest of your time in Mexico is very rewarding and beneficial to your Social Work career!
    John W.

  3. Sounds like you all are having good experiences down there. It's nice that you guys get to visit different programs and see the good will of others first hand in addition to school. From reading this I imagine that violence in relationships is a big issue facing that community and it is good that there is an organization that will help the victims as well as give education on the issue. I think it is good that the organization offers help/classes to both woman and men. After all anyone can be a victim of violence in a relationship. Ending your post with a question was a smart choice because it leaves people to wonder how they can help and make an impact. Thanks for sharing!!
    Whitney Goddard

  4. Thank you for sharing this amazing story! I found this fascinating because clearly violence in relationships is something that is a global issue. I really liked that this organization focused on things like therapy for women and children, occupational therapy, and prevention services. I feel that we could implemente pieces of this organization into some of the organizations in the twin cities to change the way we deal with domestic violence. I believe that prevention is key to changing domestic violence outcomes. I would love to see more prevention services in place to talk about domestic violence issues and concerns. Thank you for sharing and enjoy the rest of your time in Mexico!
    Cassie Buffalohead

  5. It is very important for there to be education on domestic violence. A way to prevent domestic violence against women is to change the ways in which gender roles are seen in society. In many cultures, like in the Mexican culture, men are expected to be authoritative and to maintain order within their families. If there was more awareness that all genders have the same capability of leadership and authority, there may be a significant decrease in abusive relationships. The social construction of gender is one of the reasons for domestic violence. Thank you for sharing your experience!
    -Nancy Ortega, Augsburg College

  6. Hey Kayla, I think it's pretty cool that you got to visit an institution for women that helps to prevent violence. I believe that these types of experiences can help shape your perspective on the world and help you to understand what needs to be accomplished to prevents things like violence, unequal opportunities, oppression, or gender profiling. I'm glad to hear that Mexico has institutions like this and that the citizens there have this resource that they can go to for help. I hope you're learning a lot within the social work field and about how different life is there compared to in the US. Thanks for talking about your experience! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time there!

  7. Dear Kayla,
    It’s interesting to learn that the state of Morelos is working hard to end with domestic violence, especially with violence against women. Also, it’s impressive to know that the Women’s institute is guided by the system theory since it includes psychological counseling, occupational therapy, prevention and legal assistance. This demonstrates that the institution is working effectively to end violence in relationships. I wonder if other states in Mexico are using a similar approach to end domestic abuse. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Julia Mayorquin

  8. Dear Kayla
    it is cool to hear that other places around the world are trying to end domestic violence. also with the equal treatment of man and women. To hear about this on your blog brought it to life. Because i may hear about this stuff on the radio but to hear it thought the blog made it come to life and the photos are great.
    Julietta Benson