Better prospects for young women

Labour market insertion
Teenage pregnancy is a big social problem in Guatemala. Early pregnancy severely curtails professional opportunities for young women. Moreover, social power structures are ingrained and women continue to be socially disadvantaged and face domestic violence. A project intending to facilitate access to the job market for young women must also address these problems. Thus, Swisscontact is coordinating a platform to prevent teenage pregnancy in the Alta Verapaz region.

In Guatemala, gender equality is only a distant dream. In order to improve the economic situation of women in the Alta Verapaz region in the middle of the country, the Empodera project is facilitating access for young women to professional training. With training, they have an easier time finding an adequately paid job.

At the same time, the training sensitises these young women to their rights. A year ago, the idea that responsible sexuality must be addressed was a societal taboo. But now, among other things, the project team is coordinating a platform together with the Ministry of Health along with other public institutions and international organisations. As part of this collaboration, a prevention campaign was brought to life that advocates for free and informed decision-making. It came at just the right time: during the pandemic, the severe situation of the young women was exacerbated. It is now all the more important than ever to prevent teenage pregnancy.

Working together with local partners, also during the pandemic

Our partner organisations in local communities offer psychological support and social counselling, while also implementing sensitisation events on this topic. The campaign has continued intensively over the past few months through social media platforms, WhatsApp, and even the radio.

The Empodera project is financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and implemented by Swisscontact.

'To Live in Harmony' – A Message to Build Awareness
Imagine a 14-year old teenager with a great future before her; she notices her physical changes and begins to ask herself questions. How can this adolescent inform herself about her sexuality? Where can she go to get the information she needs? You might say “She should go home and talk to her parents.” or “Let her parents deal with that.”
Economic Empowerment of Indigenous Youth and Women of Guatemala