DR. EVELYN VEITH PROGRAM FOR WOMEN
Education as an instrument of change for the social good
and the redistribution of opportunities
The Latin American region has suffered a social and gender gap since it's colonial heritage which is facilitated even more through its organization, nowadays, the region is not only one of the poorest but it is one of the most unequal, prevailing in the international rates of inequality (52,9 of the Gini coefficient). From the independence wars until the present, tendencies of economic competitiveness power has been given to economic and political elites that do not help to radically reduce the social inequalities, maintaining today almost 30% (168 million people) of the population is below the poverty line; the social indicators show improvement, however, poverty continues to hinder progress.
Las niñas e indígenas suelen iniciar mas tarde y abandonar más temprano los cursos escolaresThis inequality is not just economic but adds to a greater consequence: The lack of education and training. This absence is inherent in the social and economic system of the region that feeds imbalances of power in relationships, and in this particular case, between men and women, for example, in rural or indigenous areas girls usually start later and leave earlier their school courses, due to their family and work obligations.
In a macro sense, there is a strong relation in terms of the educational capital distribution and the inequality in the income distribution, meaning that the higher the school performance, the higher the income. Therefore, more years of schooling are necessary in order to become interesting in the labor market, and a basic education is not enough, instead it should be differentiated and it would be even better if there were technical or scientific degrees. While generally parents try to keep their daughters at least in basic education, they many end up removing them from school driven by the household needs, domestic affairs, an illness of a family member or the thought that the knowledge that they acquire destracts them from their core tasks, which means that they do not consider it an investment and believe it is for boys. Many girls, in peasant families, do not even have a birth certificate which complicates the registration process even more.
Another reason that affects the situation of Latin American girls is the ingrained influence of fundamentalist religious beliefs that restrict the social, physical and mental circle of women. This limits aspirations on leaning towards different options of studying fields, mobility and personal growth, preventing them many times from choosing technical careers, or moving to other provinces or countries in order to opt for better educational opportunities, achieving in the end to affect their working options, forcing them to accept low-paid and degrading jobs, and others to engage in prostitution.
The most urgent priority of this initiative is to collaborate for the girls to have better access and quality of education, removing any obstacles that prevent them from actively participating and achieving higher levels of education. In the overall context, this initiative seeks to offer to the region, which suffers from structural poverty, through education, higher income opportunities, improving the economic welfare.
This program aims to promote the access of girls under sixteen to school material, language learning and supplementary training, and puts at their disposal social workers to guide them in their efforts, all of this in areas with little access to education or strong restrictive traditional systems for the proper development of the intellectual and human potential of women.