Young women and girls in Colombia are constant victims of sexual, physical and psychological violence. In a process of empowerment, a group of young women peacebuilders gained consciousness about situations of violence occurring inside their families and communities. They decided to speak out against it and promote a cultural change through an awareness campaign. Help their voices be heard and make them agents of change for a life free of violence.
Every day, 36 girls and young women are victims of sexual violence in Colombia. There were 8,490 cases of girls under 19 being victims of intrafamily violence in 2016 only. In total, 70% of all girls in Colombia have experienced some form of violence in their lives. The reasons for this violence are deeply rooted in culture, a lack of education and assistance and care routes. Women are not aware of their own rights and violence is being "normalized" in everyday life.
In order to tackle the problem of gender-based violence, a profound cultural transformation through education is necessary. Women and girls need to know their rights in order to fight for them, and methods for prevention, care and assistance need to be included in public policies. The young girls of this project already designed their political agenda to address violence, but to educate politicians, their community and other girls, they are now in need of funding for local awareness campaigns.
By uniting in a network and starting a process of empowerment, 355 girls in 7 different regions of Colombia have made the first step towards sustainable change. They are transforming not only themselves, but also the reality for other girls and women by changing little by little the local culture. The awareness campaign will make their battle visible and motivate more young people to join the movement, and in a long term better routes of prevention and assistance to victims of gender violence.