How Inequality Impacts Girls in Honduras’ Education System
In Honduras, not all girls receive the healthcare and education they need. This is a simple statement that causes so many of us to want to help but the problem is a complex and long-lasting one. Honduras’ healthcare and education systems are based on the complicated gender inequality dynamic that is prevalent in the country, showing that not all children or families are given equal access to these services.
While there are a lot of changes continuously being implemented throughout Honduras, there are still many socio-economic problems that plague girls specifically. Inequality and bias place girls at greater risk of dropping out of school, getting married extremely young, and having children with minimal ability to care for them.
If there was something you could do that would make a difference, wouldn’t you want to help?
Facing a Patriarchal Society in Honduras
Honduras is still a very patriarchal society. In the rural areas, this often means women aren’t allowed by their husbands to work and spend most of their time confined to domestic duties, housework and raising children. Many young girls are taught to conform to this lifestyle and are often encouraged to marry young so they can start their own families.
In the metropolitan areas, there are more single mothers and working women, but wage inequality makes life very hard for these families. Oftentimes, women are stereotyped into the type of jobs they can perform and have a very difficult time gaining employment in majority male-held jobs, forcing them to endure lower salaries and sometimes even have to work for free.
Domestic violence is another common reality for many women in Honduras. The Honduran healthcare system does not treat these issues the same as we are familiar with in The United States, nor does the legal system. Domestic Violence, sexual abuse, and harassment are extremely prevalent throughout the country and young women have very little access to resources to combat these issues on a daily basis.
For any child, one of the essential elements of growing up is education. Children expand their knowledge from what they have available to them at home and, with the help of teachers, they learn about the world. Primary school education concentrates on the basics of learning to read, write, and do mathematics. As children grow into young teenagers the role of education continues with wider understandings of the world.
The Honduran education system is technically available to children of all ages and economic situations, although logistically schooling is not always available. As a society that does not treat women as equals to men, Honduras struggles to prioritize girls’ education.
Girls face unique obstacles with finishing school and greater difficulties to continue their education into college. Family beliefs, neighborhood violence, and poverty all play a role in the limiting of education for young girls.
Imagine you are a 12-year old girl who comes from a family that believes you should continue your education, yet, every morning you must endure potential violence just so you can get to school. As you can assume, many of these young girls may decide that school isn’t necessary, for fear of continuing to have to walk that same path day in and day out.
The Cycle of Poverty for Families
A woman’s income in Honduras is directly proportionate to their education. The more schooling she completes the more likely she is able to obtain a job that can support her without marrying, or support her children and herself if needed.
The International Center for Research on Women estimates that 12 million girls around the world are married before the age of 18. In Honduras, 34% of girls are married by this age. Education is a powerful tool that enables girls to choose to avoid childhood marriage and work toward other important goals.
By continuing their education at an early age, girls can navigate their long-term academic and life goals better while simultaneously steering their families away from poverty and building a more stable life. Rising above the cycle of poverty starts with education and a safe environment to receive it in.
How Our Little Roses Helps Combat Negative Outcomes
At Our Little Roses, we understand the difficulties with the Honduran healthcare and education systems. Our mission is to help empower girls with education while providing a safe environment that supports all their other needs as well.
Some of the ways we are making a difference for girls in Honduras include:
- Providing healthcare to girls
- Safe schooling
- Educating families
- Providing housing for girls in need
- Supportive services for the community
- Educational events
The process of equalizing gender issues in Honduras will take time but we are prepared to continue to support the girls of Honduras. Through our programs we believe we can help reduce the negative outcomes for the girls that we come into contact with as well as provide growth for the communities.
The Important Role Volunteers and Sponsors Play
Empowering and transforming girls is at the core of our mission at Our Little Roses. As a sponsor or volunteer, you are an important part of this mission. You want to make a difference in an at-risk girl’s life and we want to team up with you!
Our Little Roses is home to over 60 girls. Each one of these young women are changed by the safe, secure education and home they have with us. Through the generous donations from our sponsors and volunteers we are able to take care of medical needs, food, and education.
We offer many different ways for you to donate and urge you to contact us to discuss which way might work best for you. You can make a one-time donation or consider an ongoing sponsorship that helps provide services year round.
As the world opens back up to traveling we hope to be able to have more volunteers participate in our program as well. Please contact us if you are interested in visiting and working with Our Little Roses individually or as part of a larger group mission trip.
You are an important part of our mission and the ability to help the girls of Honduras. We can’t wait to welcome you as part of the Our Little Roses support team.
Reach out to us today, we look forward to hearing from you!