Hello everyone. This series of four blogs will be covering distinct problems that people living in Latin America face, specifically within indigenous Guatemalan communities. Each problem will intersect with one another, and all sources will be linked at the end of each section. Our first topic will be covering gender equality.
The lack of gender equality in Latin America, specifically in Guatemala, permeates throughout all facets of society. Gender equality and sexism also scale on the class or race of the person, with the wealthy facing far less than indigenous populations. Students Offering Supports’ Guate Groundswell programs focuses on indigenous departments such as Alta Verapaz or Quiché because of this.
Schooling: The Urban and Rural Divide
Guatemala faces a large amount of gender and class equality when it comes to schooling. According to a report from the United Nations, the average amount of schooling a person has over 15 years old comes to 6.5 years. In urban environments, the average is 8 years. In rural areas, the average drops further to 4 years. 1
Even more staggering are the numbers for women over 15 years old. For non-indigenous women, the average number of schooling years is 5.3. Unfortunately, the numbers drop even lower for indigenous women, down to just 3 years of schooling. 2
Combating the Divide
Our efforts with the Guate Groundswell program, which is focused on Mayan communities in Guatemala have seen amazing results when it comes to gender equality and education. The youth-driven learning circles which are locally driven and scalable have had a range of critical development outcomes. These outcomes help bridge the gap between Guatemalan boys and girls regarding their education and awareness. 3
Employment and Training
When it comes to employment and training opportunities, women and girls face more barriers to entry than their counterparts, especially in Latin America. Globally, the unemployment rates are 1 in 10 for boys and 1 in 4 for girls. 4
In Guatemala, this disparity doesn’t only come from direct sexism or discrimination. Passive discrimination plays a large role in the creation of educational and work-related barriers. Dangerous paths to schooling, cultural assumptions on the role of women in the household, reduced access to scholarships for poorer students, and expensive transportation all play a large part. 5
This fact sheet is meant to bring some light to the difficulties that people are facing in Latin America, specifically in Guatemala. Each of these topics touches on an area that SOS wants to address and alleviate through our Guatemala Groundswell problem. If you want to learn more about some of our projects and programs, click here. If you’d like to become a one-time or monthly donor, click here.