The rights of women and girls were brought to the forefront this week, first by the celebration on Wednesday of the International Day of the Girl Child and then today by the wife of the Canadian prime minister.
The first provided an opportunity for the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) to highlight the fact that Mexico leads member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in under-age mothers.
Commission representative Ismael Eslava Pérez said that in 2015 slightly over 10% of girls between 15 and 19 had had to abandon school to look after their children, and over 13% of girls in that age range were already living with partners.
Speaking at an event in Tabasco state, Eslava called on the federal government and society at large to work toward safeguarding, protecting and promoting access to human rights to the country’s girls and teenagers.
He said other data gathered by the commission showed that in 2014, 23,000 girls between 12 and 17 suffered some kind of aggression. It also found that in the following year 49% of girls between five and 17 were employed in some kind of economic activity.
Eslava said inequality between genders starts at childhood. For this reason, boys of all ages should be aware of and involved in actions designed to honor and respect the rights of girls of all ages, he said.
A similar message was delivered today by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who met with representatives of several women’s right organizations during a two-day visit to Mexico with her husband, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
She said the campaign to end violence against girls and women must begin with changing what is considered normal. “. . . the obstacles that a woman must overcome daily is not normal; we have the responsibility to change the definition and the experience of what is normal.”
She emphasized the fact that machismo lives on although progress has been made in women’s equality. “. . . machismo is an insult to the potential of the human being, to intelligence and to knowledge.”
Grégoire Trudeau said it was time for men and women to form a single team to make humanity stronger and “in that way we can become more humane and share our spirituality and potential, which will permit society to be enriched.”
Source: El Universal (sp)