IFM Investors’ Community Grants Program helps at-risk women in Ecatepec, Mexico
“We believe it’s important for the sustainability of our infrastructure investments that they actively contribute to their local communities.” – Kyle Mangini, Global Head of Infrastructure.
Since 2019, IFM Investors has been promoting collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships between our portfolio companies and local community organisations via our Infrastructure Community Grants Program.
One of eight successful proposals from last year’s program was by global transportation infrastructure operator Aleatica and is being delivered in collaboration with community organisation Instituto para la Investigación de los Derechos Humanos y los Estudios de Género A.C (IIDHEG). The project was carried out in 2022 and titled ‘Network of Women for the Prevention and Attention of Gender-Based Violence against Women in Ecatepec Municipality.’
Through the project, Aleatica and IIDHEG identified and trained 27 “at-risk” women, including raising awareness of different human rights issues and training in basic and intermediate plumbing and accounting skills. Nearly 7,400 training hours were provided to the women, and seven women have decided to move forward with additional 5,000+ hours of training in 2023 to learn advanced plumbing techniques and complete their advanced certification (having already been certified in intermediate plumbing).
As a result of the project, a cooperative was formed in October 2022 to raise awareness of violence against women and to increase women’s economic empowerment. A continuous communication mechanism was also established to inform, identify, and refer women in situations of violence to the institutions responsible for care.
In 2022, Ecatepec had some of the highest numbers of registered femicide cases (by municipality) in Mexico, while the State of Mexico had the most cases of any state nationwide. In the State of Mexico, 71% of women who are victims of violence don’t know where to go for help, and in Ecatepec, there is a nearly 25% gap in economic participation between men and women, further exacerbating the issue.
For women who are victims of gender-based violence, economic dependency on their partners can make leaving an abusive relationship nearly impossible. Assisting these women in developing the necessary skills for meaningful employment, as well as providing them with a network for ongoing employment opportunities, is invaluable as it helps remove an abusive partner’s financial control. In turn, this allows these women to regain their autonomy. In addition, providing these women with the tools to break through in the male-dominated industry of plumbing is also a step towards debunking the gender stereotypes that perpetuate violence against women.
The project also indirectly supports other women in the community as the women participating in the Network were trained to identify gender violence in the homes where they will eventually provide plumbing services as well as to provide guidance for these women regarding support that may be available to them.
Aleatica has continued to work with the Network in 2023 to develop a business model that will generate economic income for the women members of the Network. IFM Investors commends Aleatica’s management for their leadership and vision in defining this important project. We are very excited about its potential impact on at-risk women in Ecatepec and wish our partners in Aleatica and IIDHEG continued success in its implementation.
2022-2023 Community Grant Program
Find out more about the seven projects we supported through our 2022-2023 community grants program, or read our 2022 Responsible Business Report for more information about the 2021 program.
1 IIDHEG English translation: Institute for Human Rights Research and Gender Studies A.C.
2 Ecatepec is a densely populated municipality in Mexico with a high rate of gender-based violence
3 Named Red de mujeres en crecimiento (Network of Women in Growth)
4 Defined as the homicide of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender