Enjoying the same rights is the best way to promote a life free of inequality, discrimination and violence for children in Latin America and the Caribbean
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Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the most inequality, discrimination and violence on the planet. The situation affects millions of children.
The identities, experiences, opportunities and discrimination experienced by children are not homogeneous; they change according to the place of residence, social rules and poverty condition.
To this are added factors such as living with some type of disability, belonging to indigenous or Afro-descendant communities, in addition to the specific needs of girls and adolescents due to being women and minors.
Equality of girls and adolescents is everyone's responsibility. Do not look the other way.
Gender equality, for UNICEF, means that women, men, girls and boys must enjoy equal rights, resources, opportunities and protections.
However, the reality continues to show that girls, adolescents and women in their diversity still face greater disadvantages because of their gender. The historical inequalities that women have faced in this regard continue to have intergenerational impacts that reach today’s children.
This prevents progress in the enjoyment of equal conditions and in building new social relationships and healthy and fair environments for children.
Support girls, adolescents and women empowerment
Empowerment of girls, adolescents and women is key to breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence. When a society achieves that women - in all their diversity - achieve their full economic, physical and political autonomy, ensures that their rights are fulfilled in equality conditions and, therefore, also guarantees that children and adolescents have full development.
In fact, gender norms affect boys and men because they influence the way they live and how this information is transferred from one generation to another.
As established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), it is crucial to recognize and protect the rights of girls, adolescents and women to transform behavior patterns and redefine gender relations.
Additionally, as a strategy, protecting the rights of everyone is key when it comes to overcoming gender inequalities that affect millions of children in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Empowerment of girls is key to breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence.
Supporting empowerment is nothing more than strengthening knowledge and skills so that more girls, adolescents and women have freedom, information and support to make decisions about their own lives and act to make them happen.
Above all, because gender inequality permeates all levels: it is present in personal, family and social relationships, but also in institutions and in public policies, and affects not only women and girls, but also men and boys.
In order to achieve significant changes in gender equality, it is necessary to increase awareness and promote a change in behavior, as well as to promote public policies that transform power dynamics and unequal gender relations.
Meaningful participation allows children to acquire knowledge and skills, develop skills, innovate and have self-confidence. Additionally, it positions them as agents of change when it comes to advancing towards gender equality, through capacities such as commitment, respect and tolerance.
To make their dreams come true and enjoy integral development, UNICEF promotes gender equality and supports empowerment of girls, adolescents and women.
The most important challenges we face in our work are:
Gender equality is worked on transversally in our programs
Each of the Sustainable Development Goals considers gender equality. In addition, there is a specific Objective dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is necessary to achieve gender equality for girls and adolescents..
Girls and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean live in diverse conditions, with different identities, needs and opportunities. Thus, the response to their realities needs differentiated strategies to accompany them in the fulfillment of their life projects.
At UNICEF we work at three levels:
1. Specific priorities for girls
2. Results integrated in each area where UNICEF works
3. Making UNICEF an empowered Organization to achieve gender equality
These resources represent a small compilation of some of the materials produced by UNICEF and its collaborators.
Accelerate progress towards reducing adolescent pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean
Pregnancy in adolescence has a profound effect on the life trajectory of adolescents. It hinders their psychosocial development, is associated with poor health outcomes for both them and their children, has a negative impact on their educational and work opportunities, and contributes to perpetuating intergenerational cycles of poverty and ill health.
The booklet has been written by UNICEF so that children between 13 and 18 can learn about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The road to empowerment of girls in Latin America and the Caribbean
In line with the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals and UNICEF Gender Action Plan, this document shows the 5 prioritized rights to illuminate the path towards empowerment of girls and adolescents.
Niñas y adolescentes en América Latina y el Caribe: Deudas de igualdad (only in Spanish)
This study provides an overview of inequalities experienced by girls and adolescents in the region and aims to contribute to the discussion of policies that seek to eliminate all forms of discrimination that affect them.
Promoviendo los derechos de las niñas: Guía de referencia para instituciones nacionales defensoras de los derechos humanos en América Latina y el Caribe (only in Spanish)
In Latin America and the Caribbean, girls and adolescents are probably one of the most vulnerable population groups.
The work of national human rights institutions has been fundamental for promotion and defense of these rights in the region and has contributed significantly to the advancement of national standards of protection of people and to the democratization of public institutions and, in General of the States.