Through leadership training, activism, and networking, this project empowers adolescent girls and rural youth to be the agents of change in their own communities. By learning new skills and developing strong friendships, the girls and young women form a network of leaders capable of defending their rights, amplifying the voices of the invisible, seeking strategies for fair and equitable employment, and participating as equal members of society.
In Honduras, women and girls are often denied their basic educational, economic, and social rights. For example, in a context in which only 44% of children go to school, girls frequently have to stay home and take care of their younger siblings. Many Honduran women do only unpaid domestic work rather than earning money. Starting in childhood, girls are taught that their purpose is to be beautiful and to become mothers. These and other barriers exclude girls from their rightful place in society.
This project empowers young women through an educational and participatory process. We will train 50 leaders in 9 rural communities - where women are most marginalized -- in topics including gender equality, social activism, and human rights. The girls network we are forming is the only one in the region and will serve as an example nationwide. Building on the training and support they receive, the girls will share what they learn to educate others about the role that women deserve in society.
In 3-5 years, we expect to see more young women participating in local leadership positions -- at equal or higher rates than men. Additionally, we are focusing on education as a strategy for change. Within a year, we hope to have successfully passed a "Municipal School Safeguard Policy" that will guarantee the educational rights of girls in all the school districts of the La Ceiba region. More generally, we aim to see a thriving network of female leaders improving the region for years to come.