Women in Government in El Salvador to Have Low Representation During the 2024-2027 Governmental Period

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Mar 17th, 2024
Women in Government in El SalvadorSalvadoran Legislative Assembly. Image by @AsambleaSV

In El Salvador, women have faced notable underrepresentation in government roles, highlighting an enduring disparity in political leadership. This imbalance underscores persistent barriers to female participation in shaping the country’s governance and policies.

Despite strides toward gender equality, the limited presence of women in governmental positions underscores systemic challenges and the imperative for inclusive policymaking.

This low representation of women in Government in El Salvador continues in the 2024-2027 governmental period in both the legislative branch of government and municipality governments. Women will have low representation, with only 19 deputies and 8 municipality mayors.

Women in the 2024-2027 Legislative Assembly

Women will have limited representation in the 2024-2027 legislative assembly; this institution is vital in the country’s governance, responsible for crafting laws, overseeing governmental affairs, and representing the interests of its citizens.

Nevertheless, for the 2024-2027 legislature, only 19 out of 60 seats will be held by female deputies, making up 31.7% of the total composition. These 19 women represent three political parties: 17 from New Ideas, 1 from ARENA, and 1 from VAMOS.

Women Deputies 2024-2027 Legislative Assembly
Political Party Department
Nancy Alfaro NI Cabañas
Janneth Molina NI Cuscatlan
Sharon Salazar NI La Libertad
Sandra Interiano NI La Libertad
Norma Lobo NI La Libertad
Alexia Rivas NI San Salvador
Suecy Callejas NI San Salvador
Dania Gonzalez NI San Salvador
Elisa Rosales NI San Salvador
Ana Figueroa NI San Salvador
Diana Fuentes NI San Salvador
Claudia Ortiz VAMOS San Salvador
Marcela Villatoro ARENA San Salvador
Helen Jovel NI San Vicente
Lorena Fuentes NI Santa Ana
Claudia Toleda NI Santa Ana
Evelyn Merlos NI Santa Ana
Johana Hernandez NI Usulutan
Maricela de Guardado NI Usulutan

The 19 female deputies represent 31.7%, a higher percentage than the previous legislature, which had a 27.4% female representation.

Although female representation in the 2024-27 legislature is higher than the previous one, civil society organizations, such as Citizen Action and the Association of Councilors and Mayors of El Salvador (ANDRYSAS), describe it as a regression.

Women Municipal Mayors in the 2024-2027 Period

The representation of women in municipal government leadership is even lower during the 2024-2027 period. Among 44 municipal governments, only 8 will be led by female mayors, constituting 18.2%.

Women Municipality Mayors 2024-2027 Period
Political Party Municipality Department
Guadalupe Campos NI Cuscatlan South Cuscatlan
Janet Gonzalez GANA La Libertad West La Libertad
Milagro Navas ARENA La Libertad East La Libertad
Marcela Pineda NI La Paz East La Paz
Victoria Gutierrez NI La Union South La Union
Carolina Escobar NI Santa Ana East Santa Ana
Luz Maria Cruz Torres FS Usulutan North Usulutan
Noemi Alfaro NI Usulutan West Usulutan

Milagro Navas, mayor of La Libertad East, is the leading female mayor; she has been serving consecutive terms as municipality mayor under the ARENA political party since 1988.

SEE ALSO: 2024 Salvadoran Presidential Elections: Nayib Bukele Wins With 84.65% of the Votes

The Challenges for Women Reaching Government Positions in El Salvador

In El Salvador, women encounter numerous obstacles while trying to reach publicly elected governmental positions. Cultural norms, limited access to resources, and other systemic barriers perpetuate gender inequality in politics.

However, political violence against women, a paramount reason that discourages women from seeking public office, has taken center stage in the last few elections.

This violence is more apparent on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and was particularly more noticeable during the 2024 elections.

During the 2024 elections, female candidates or women members of political parties were subject to attacks on social networks. Some of the most common attacks against these women in politics included humiliation, sexualized jokes, defamation, harassment, insults, ridicule of their appearance, and comments about their private lives.

In the 2024 elections, women in politics from all different political parties received attacks on social media platforms. Also, these attacks were committed by both males and females.

Consequently, some women may commit gender violence against another woman by perceiving that a person of the same sex is competition, reaching the point of becoming aggressors. Women are often victims of other women who discredit their work and effort for personal ambitions. Ondina Ramos, ARENA deputy candidate.

Political violence against women remains a significant obstacle, deterring their involvement in politics and pursuit of governmental positions. If something doesn’t change, women will continue to have low representation in government, as is the case for the 2024-2027 government period.