We hope this message finds you well and that you are handling these uncertain times as good as possible.
From Hogar de Cristo we wanted to let you know our current situation of our organization in Chile and how we have been carrying out our project focused on young mothers.
As you may already know, in Chile, more than 200,000 children and young people are outside the educational system. With the current health crisis this number will surely increase. Women drop out less, but when they do, they don't return. School exclusion is much more damaging and limiting future opportunities for girls and young women since they tend to stay at home, sacrificing their right to education, taking care of housework, younger siblings or an older or disabled relative , so that adults can go out and generate income. For the most part, it is the issue of caring for others that is behind female dropping out of school, which includes that of their own babies, in the case of teenage pregnancies. And although these have been decreasing in recent years, according to 2018 figures, 50% of pregnant schoolchildren do not continue studying.
Gender inequality is then expressed in this fundamental right -education-, which is also key for the promotion of people and so that poverty does not continue to reproduce inter-generationally, from grandmothers to mothers and from mothers to daughters. In Chile, three-quarters of those who neither study nor work are women. Apart from that, only 48% of women participate in the labor market and, on average, receive 25% lower remuneration compared to men. Although there are several factors that influence this gender inequality, one of the most influencing is the educational system.
Due to the pandemic, education became much more complex than usual. In Chile, Face-to-face education has not returned. Furthermore, the country is facing a new wave with new communities in quarantines.
Our students have needed more emotional support than ever. They have shown how much they miss the protective space of the school and we have responded with constant monitoring online, giving distance classes through our Virtual Learning Classrooms and creating new workshops to motivate them and continue teaching. We never lost contact with them. These new learning experiences are now a successful reality. Young mothers are super grateful, they perceive us as a recess from everything bad. For them it is a moment of relaxation, a space for personal and group care. We work with a wide variety of topics, topics that they themselves raised with their tutors that we later transformed into new workshops.
We have been able to achieve this transformation because of your support. Your contribution has meant being able to continue providing quality education to hundreds of young mothers throughout the country. We work so that many more can complete their educational careers and their personal dreams, without sexist barriers or economic, social, cultural limitations. So that the "intersectionality" of their disadvantages: being a woman, a mother, vulnerable, part of an indigenous minority, living in a rural sector, do not become the sum of all evils. We really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help that is giving hope and a future to so many young people.