23 January, 2023

The priority of investment in their education and comprehensive protection, basis for breaking the cycle of poverty

Ilustrative Photo: Courtesy Pixabay.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Considering that the International Day of the Girl is commemorated 11 October of each year, with the aim of promoting equality and non-discrimination of girls and adolescents, who sometimes face difficulties such as forced marriages, unwanted pregnancies, gender violence, limited access to education, among others, the 45 organizations that make up the Network for Children and Adolescents of El Salvador (RIA), have shown their concern at the current scenario in the country.

In El Salvador every day the goals and rights of girls and adolescents are limited by facing sexual abuse and imposed motherhood in the midst of a macho and patriarchal culture. According to data from the Institute of Legal Medicine, (IML) in 2019 they were made 2,894 recognitions for sexual violence, that is to say, 8 daily cases. It is alarming that the 75% of abuse was committed in girls and adolescents under 17 years, including 848 cases of girls under 11 years. According to research, the aggressors of these girls are known people, Close relatives, neighbors and others who live near or within the same home.

Between 16 March and 20 May 2020, the Attorney General's Office received 71 complaints of rape in minor or incapable, 59 of sexual assault and 21 for sexual harassment against girls and female adolescents, which happened in full confinement, that is to say, within the home, of the family, where the protection of children and adolescents is supposed to be guaranteed.

Confinement has aggravated the situation of a large segment of female girls and adolescents in the area of ​​sexual violence, according to figures from social organizations, more of 6,800 girls and adolescents have become pregnant during the first 6 months 2020, the data indicate that 258 girls of 10 a 14 years old and 6,581 adolescent women of 15 a 19 years of age have been a victim of rape and are pregnant, an alarming situation from every point of view.

Inattention to Girls' Mental Health, children, teenagers, youth and general population. In this point, from January to 24 April 2020, different media have reported 20 suicides in the country, of which 12 they were under 30 years, 4 adolescent women and 1 teenage man. To this figure is added the suicide of a girl from 11 years occurred in the department of San Miguel to the East of El Salvador, the 18 of September.




The disappearance of people and with them many girls and adolescent women is another matter of concern. The figures from the Attorney General's Office detail that 542 people disappeared in the first quarter of this year. February records the highest number of cases of missing persons (198), followed by january (187) and finally March (157). The 38.3% of the disappeared women in El Salvador are adolescents. According to data from the Attorney General of the Republic, the age group between 13 Y 17 years is the one that registers the most complaints of deprivation of liberty of women.

All of the above, the organizations grouped in RIA ask the Salvadoran State, to the National Council for Children and Adolescents and to the Members of the National System for the Protection of Children: Adopt protective measures to alleviate the situation of girls, children and adolescents victims of sexual violence; that a strategy for the prevention of such crimes be implemented in coordination with the competent entities such as the prosecutor's office among others.

Both, demand greater investment in education aimed at guaranteeing full access and permanence of girls in primary and secondary education cycles. Investigate the disappearance of people and have disaggregated statistical information that will allow the state to identify trafficking patterns, sexual violence and femicide / feminicide and thus address the problem from an evidence-based approach to girls' rights.

They also ask to coordinate with the Ministry of Health comprehensive health care for girls and adolescents in a state of pregnancy, and turn, take appropriate measures to prevent such abuse, guaranteeing a life free of violence eradicating gender stereotypes.

Likewise, create and implement, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, psychosocial care programs to attend to the mental health of girls and boys in order to prevent suicide. Implement programs on sexual and reproductive rights.

Similarly, listen and listen to the voices of girls when they claim to be victims of any type of violence, and implement actions aimed at eradicating discrimination and gender stereotypes.