With respect to women's issues, CEPCO proposed the following objectives: 1) To achieve recognition of the capacity and participation of women; 2) To change the disadvantages that peasant women face on account of their gender. To advance these goals, CEPCO has been promoting the organization of peasant women and the formation of women's groups. In order for their voices to be heard and their views to be taken into account, CEPCO has encouraged that women be included in all types of assemblies and meetings: local ones, those that are part of the CEPCO organization, and those that are part of the municipal government.
With regard to the promotion of women's own projects, suitable for their needs and situations, we began working on 3 lines of action:
A) A focus on survival. Faced with the coffee crisis and as an alternative intended to directly combat the problems caused by lack of food in the coffee regions, women's groups focused their actions on immediate survival. They pushed forward projects involving household vegetable production for domestic consumption, the installation of fuel-efficient woodstoves, and so on.
B) A focus on the fight for public services and collective labor contributions toward them. This focus includes the struggle for financial support to acquire and operate community-based tamale mills, a program to improve housing, and the installation of latrines, a training program called "Health Promoters", literacy programs in indigenous languages, and so on. This focus is aimed at improving living conditions without generating revenue, providing families with the minimum services needed to live in dignity.
C) A focus on production. This includes the implementation of production projects such as building and working in coffee nurseries, backyard vegetable gardening, small livestock breeding, poultry raising, flower growing, the production of the Beauveria bassiana fungus that is used as a biological insectide against coffee berry borer, etc. The goal of this initiative is to provide women in coffee-growing families with a fixed and steady income.
Payback and rotation of resources. One of the policies of women's groups in terms of project management refers to the payback and rotating use of resources that have been received from different programs (Sedesol, SRA, SAGARPA, etc.). The implementation of this policy has demonstrated, over the years, the value and the impact of CEPCO's women's organization. With the implementation of this policy, groups have managed to generate their own capital to carry out other projects and continue building their collective autonomy.
Women's participation has produced a more explicit recognition of their contribution in the social life of communities and of their experience as producers, and has strengthened the organizations by meeting the demands of indigenous peasant women. As was noted at one women's assembly: "Being organized helps us to get over our fears," "We are organized because we can learn more, and then we value ourselves more, and that makes us feel good," "We got over the fear of changing ideas and we are happy for ourselves, for knowing our rights as women. "