more vulnerable to various forms of violence
The Governing Council took into account the report prepared on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, celebrated every October 11, which carried out a gender analysis of the situation of Andalusian children, analyzing data related to vulnerability, education, way of life, mental health or physical activity. The said paper states that girls are more vulnerable to violence, they are encouraged more than boys in the field of education, they do less sports activities and they are the minority group in mental health consultations.
The report states that the Government of the Junta de Andalucía continues to take steps towards a more egalitarian Andalucía free of sexist violence, paying attention to the specific needs of girls, with public policies that integrate them as beneficiaries, and concrete actions that seek to redress marked gender inequalities in childhood from a gender perspective. Thus, the data collected in the document indicate a greater vulnerability of girls to the different forms of violence analyzed, in particular girls suffer more sexual assaults (85.4% compared to 14.6% of boys), they are the main victims of crimes of corruption of minors (in 75.7% of cases) and pornography (60.4%); and furthermore within the family environment they suffer from 59.3% abuse. Similarly, the analysis highlights that also in the new forms of violence through ICT and social networks, girls suffer from 63.3% of cyberviolence and cybercrimes, compared to 36.7% of boys.
In the field of education, generally up to the bachelor’s degree, girls and boys advance to a greater extent than boys, by approximately a ten-point difference in all indicators collected. However, children and adolescents score higher on indicators related to mathematics and science. While in reading comprehension, girls score higher, with a difference of 20 points. As for habits, and in particular tobacco consumption, it is observed that it progresses from 11-12 years, when only 0.2% of girls and 1% of boys smoke; up to 17-18 years, when 22.7% of girls and 23.2% of boys already smoke. There is no significant difference between the two, but the rate is high due to health risks. The same happens with alcohol consumption, but it is more common than tobacco among girls and boys aged 11-18. Regarding body image, approximately half of Andalusian children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18 are satisfied with their size, but the other half, which differs, has gender differences.
Thus, girls show more concern about being overweight, while boys show concern about being thin. In the area of sexual behavior, both sexes recognize first sexual relations between the ages of 15 and 16, but more boys (42.7%) declare that they had sexual relations between the ages of 15-18 than girls (33.7%) . Regarding contraceptive methods, young people are more likely to report using a condom in their last relationship, 79% compared to 69.3% of adolescents. Younger girls maintain this rate across age groups without significant changes, on the other hand, boys use condoms to a greater extent with age. It is worth noting that 28.8% of children between the ages of 15 and 16 admit that they did not use a condom during their last sexual act.
Less mental health care
Significant gender differences were found in the frequency with which they performed physical activities during their free time. Among girls aged 11 to 18, 15.4% declared that they had never been physically active, while among boys, 5.6% were those who had never done it. Among those who engage in physical activity, boys do it more often each week than girls.
Finally, with regard to child and adolescent mental health, significant differences were found in the care provided by specialist units, where 68.2% of patients served were boys compared to 31.7% girls (15,430 compared to 7 171). serviced girls). As for the number of people who died by suicide, in 2020 they were 12, seven boys and five girls. Since 2012, the trend has been the same, with more deaths among boys.
Two laws against discrimination
In this regard, the UN warns that girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges in terms of their education, physical and mental well-being and the protection they need to live free from violence. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing burdens on them and undermined the important gains made over the past decade.
Andalusia has two main laws to deal with persistent discrimination and inequalities. On the one hand, Law 12/2007 of November 26 to promote gender equality, which aims to contribute to overcoming the historical inequality of women in Andalusia; an inequality that represents the uniqueness of affecting more than half of the population. And, on the other hand, Law 4/2021 of 27 July on children and adolescents in Andalusia, approved in the last legislature, which states that children and adolescents are the bearers of all human rights and it is vital to consider that the rights of children take their own stand, incorporating the perspective of gender and equality in their articles.
More specifically, Article 13 states that “the Andalusian public administrations will introduce the gender perspective in the planning, development and evaluation of the measures they adopt regarding children and adolescents, in all actions and programs aimed at minors and with special attention to inequality and/or discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity”