They are the present: the Peruvian girls who raise their voices for change | International Day of the Girl | Empower | ec stories | SA
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Annalee Juliana is 17 years old. He spent his entire childhood and adolescence in Paucartambo, Cusco; but last weekend she visited the capital with a special mission: to become the editor of the Somos edition. This, within the International Day of the Girl. Although she is passionate about science – she is in her first semester of chemistry at UNSAAC – communications and writing are also her strengths. She came to share more about her ideals and at the same time be the voice of hundreds of girls and teenagers in her community. “These types of spaces are necessary. To be able to voice an opinion and finally be heard, generate change“.
An activist since the age of 11, she recalls feeling the first spark of empowerment when she learned that her mother and grandmother had not received the same opportunities and education as her. “Paukartambo is a rural area where sometimes rights are not taken into account. For example, in the past women did not receive any education, their voice was not heard“, he commented.
Juliana also remembers that a teacher at school motivated her to never turn off her voice. To fight for your dreams. He also organized a group of boys and girls to participate in a radio program that promoted information about the sexual and reproductive rights of the youngest. But something happened: when they went to ask for support at the local radio station, they asked for a monetary investment to give them the space. Then the teacher took over the expenses, an event that the young woman remembers to this day. “That got me thinking. Do we really have to pay to be heard? It’s really a frustrating thing, something that also gives me some courage.
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In Paukartambo, access to ESI is limited. This has led to teenage pregnancies, cycles of poverty and a lack of opportunities for young women. That’s why Juliana feels it’s so important to spread the word. “Imagine growing up and not knowing your rights, that the authorities are completely unrelated to enforcing them. People break them and you don’t know what’s wrong until you find out“, he specifies.
VOTES FOR CHANGE
Along with Giuliana, Vivian (15) from Piura and Astrid (16) from Loreto also arrived. All of them from different realities, but with the same goal: to gradually overcome the opportunity gap that girls in Peru still face. In their busy schedule of activities, these young leaders made time to visit the facilities of Diario El Comercio, a historical place in whose corridors are woven hundreds of stories that are part of our nation today.
“The International Day of the Girl is a time when we finally have representation. In which many women leaders can come together and be the voice of thousands in their community, in their region. For example, today we are 3 friends from different regions, different climates, different realities, with different points of view. But it enriches. Our differences unite us for the same goal, to fight for the rights of girls in our country.” Juliana says excited about the path she has taken with her companions.
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As part of her work as editor of We are for this edition, Juliana also had the challenge of interviewing her colleagues Vivian and Astrid. In addition, he also shared recommendations for news coverage on children’s issues to the Somos team, as well as wrote his first editorial column.
CLOSURE OF THE HISTORY
Vivian Andrea (15) fondly remembers the science teacher at her school. He gave her advice, encouraged her to explore, to “see” books, parks and walks. In a world where men have more opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), this momentum has made all the difference. In the region of Castile, Piura, a leader with an ecological and feminist vision is gradually forming.
“His words filled me with a desire to make an impact on the world, to help in any way I could. So I started at the age of 13, helping with various volunteer activities. First visiting remote areas to teach children without access to education, then in recycling campaigns, rescue puppies and also in initiatives against anemia”share.
But deep down he knew his impact could achieve more. It’s so investigative that he arrived at the UN Girl Up Club. An initiative that travels the world, empowering girls and adolescents and closing the gender gap. “When I was 15 years old, I ventured to create my own Girl Up club in Piura. I called it Nuva Senchi. Today, his club has more than 90 participants and 25 leaders from around the world, from countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Panama.
This conviction and desire to take over the world is shared by Astrid Lisette from Loreto, who started her activism in her first year of high school. Compared to her peers, however, she faces a harsher reality: Loreto’s young people are still exposed to problems such as drug addiction and teenage pregnancy. Ready to generate change, she started as part of her school’s community to serve today as a leader in her community, Nauta.
“Bringing knowledge to more teenagers like me is a privilege. I also listen to them, respect their points of view and trust their ability to engage in politics and change.” comment. “Sometimes the authorities think that as young people we cannot participate in politics, but the truth is that we have this capacity. Disadvantages make us have clear goals for change.”
On the eve of the central day, this October 11, Vivian defends the importance of the International Day of the Girl as a date that more people should join. “This is the opportunity to make my voice heard, and by saying my voice, I’m also talking about the presentation I’m making to hundreds of girls in Peru. In other words, there are girls in remote places who are not speaking out because of fear, insecurity, or maybe they are intimidated, and for them the gaps need to be closed“.//