< The Cause – GES Mujeres

The Cause

For the people of Oaxaca, teenage pregnancy is a major issue.

Education and empowerment are key.

We work within twenty indigenous and afro-Mexican communities to raise awareness and to empower women, in turn promoting freedom of choice and fostering change from within the community.  We will train members of these communities so that they can, in turn, hold workshops that nurture essential changes in culture.

We are asking for your support to train a select group of passionate young women.

Mexico has  the highest level of teenage pregnancy within the OECD

That’s approximately 340,000 children born each year to girls under 19 years of age.  According to the Population Fund of the United Nations, Latin America is the only region where teenage pregnancy is still increasing. Invariably, those affected are living in situations of socio-economic precarity especially vulnerable are inhabitants of indigenous and rural communities.

Rather than focusing solely on prevention, we seek to promote free, informed and empowered choices that encompass the multi-cultural nature of the twenty rural communities in which we work.

97% of young Mexican’s are aware of at least one method of contraception but more than half do not use one in their first sexual encounter.

In the state of Oaxaca, less than 40% of young Oaxacan’s reported having used contraception in their last sexual encounter. Research has shown that there is an increased prevalence of teenage pregnancy in abusive or violent relationships.  The statistics tell a stark story but do not tell of the underlying imbalances that aggravate the structural imbalance between genders.

Our project seeks to redress these imbalances by empowering young women whilst educating both men and women in the communities.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development collects information on 35 countries across the world. For further information see: OECD (2017), Building an Inclusive Mexico: Policies and Good Governance for Gender Equality, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264265493-en

The consequences of teenage pregnancy.

Research indicates that teen pregnancy and motherhood can have detrimental socio-economic and psychological outcomes for the mother, her child, and her young siblings.

The effects for the mother are both immediate and future.  Throughout preganancy, teenagers are less likely to seek and receive prenatal care, aggravating an already elevated risk of complications, premature birth and maternal death.  Further on, a teen mother is more likely to leave school before obtaining her high school diploma; the resulting lack of skills often results in poor employment prospects. These factors lead to elevated levels of precarity.

The circumstances of the mother are echoed in those of her offspring who are also statistically more likely to live in poverty, become a victim of neglect or abuse, be involved in crime and, eventually, become a teenage parent and repeat this cycle.

Our work seeks to break this cycle by empowering young women.