Today is the time to fight, to live, to prove to the world that we are inspiring other women

Photo courtesy Educo Guatemala

Opinion column by Leire Gurruchaga, Gender Director of Educo

Let's start by talking about the obvious. Women represent half the world's population, but we are still behind men in terms of rights.

What we know, I know people who have responsibilities, laws are even passed to reverse this endemic situation, but today inequality between men and women is a reality entrenched.

It is true that, if we talk in general terms, the situation of women has improved in the last century and a half.

Slowly, slower than we would like, but progress on rights, both in their recognition and in their exercise, they are indisputable. But nevertheless, discrimination against women continues to a greater or lesser extent in all societies,

In the world, For each 100 young men living in extreme poverty, there is 122 women. Two out of three illiterate people are women. More than 70% of trafficking victims are women and girls. It's just some of the data that shows the severity of the problem.

A problem that starts from the moment a girl is born, Because being born a girl means that your future prospects are going to be worse than those of your siblings, male cousins ​​or friends.

We know that girls and women start with a clear disadvantage compared to men. We also know that this situation can change. And at Educo we work for and for change through education. Because education is the key to reversing these inequalities.

When a girl goes to school, it's much harder for her to become one of the 650 million women, girls and adolescents forced to marry before the 18 years. You are more unlikely to become pregnant and die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth, how it happens every year to 70.000 girls and young people between 15 Y 19 years. And it won't be one of the 102 millions of girls who cannot access an education.

Unfortunately, It is not always easy to convince your environment that going to school, learning and training is something that can become crucial for a better future.

Sometimes, Being a girl means that you can only be at home doing household chores, that your life aspirations are limited to being mother and wife and that the education of your male siblings is privileged over yours. But, also sometimes, there are women and girls who inspire and support others to continue fighting for their dreams.

As is the case of Sabina's mother, in Bangladesh. She was forced to marry. You don't want your daughter to be another victim of child marriage. Because, supports her in her studies, so that Sabina can fulfill her dream of becoming a police officer and protecting women.

Or like Dairin's grandmother, in Guatemala. Cannot read and write, what has limited your opportunities in life. She wants her granddaughter to be able to decide her future with much more freedom than she had. Or Neimatou's mother, and Burkina Faso, who gets you all the school supplies you need so you can continue studying. Without knowing it, unaware of it, these girls have learned what sorority is. It is feminine solidarity.

This support is so necessary to achieve the same rights as men and that these are always fulfilled., such as the right to receive an equitable and quality education.

Dairin, Sabina and Neimatou, and so many other girls that, despite the difficulties they face, continue with their studies, they are already an example for everyone. They are the present of a world in which the discrimination of girls for the mere fact of being so is a reality. But they are also the hope of a more equal future between men and women.

Because as Ingrid says, from Nicaragua, "Today is the time to fight, to live, to show the world that we are the inspiration of other women ”.