Girls in El Salvador Become Protagonists for Change
Youth are key to a country’s development. Proper care, quality education, recreation and respect of rights can help ensure a country’s just development.
In El Salvador, unfortunately children and youth are particularly vulnerable to social problems such as poverty, violence and abuse. The most vulnerable of these are adolescent girls.
According to various studies, over 31% of adolescents between 10 and 19 years become pregnant and 85% of teenage mothers do not finish school. Many cases of abuse and sexual harassment occur within schools and family environments. In the first half of 2012 the PNC recorded a total of 1,190 complaints of sexual offenses against children, adolescents and women. The highest risk group, with 608 cases, belongs to adolescents between 12 and 18 years old.
Currently CRIPDES San Vicente is carrying out a pilot project in nine schools in the municipality of Tecoluca in the department of San Vicente, with groups of girls ages 14-18 years.
The project consists of workshops to build self-esteem, teach them about their rights and values, and uses arts and crafts to facilitate a friendly environment so that girls may express their feelings and dreams together.
The objective of this project is to raise awareness of how to prepare adolescent girls for life through new skills and knowledge in the practice of human rights, reproductive health, and gender equality.
Involvement of key local actors and families of adolescent girls is pertinent to achieve this goal.
In El Salvador it is crucial that adolescent girls receive an education that allows them to build life skills ensuring them a better future for them and their families and at the same time allow real community development with a focus on solidarity and social justice. As the saying goes, “Educating a woman is educating society”.