Tlaxcala has among the highest incidence of human trafficking-particularly of women and girls-in all of Mexico. Over 18,000 people are estimated to make their livelihood in trafficking. It is such a common phenomenon that it is considered a legitimate profession, one that brings both prestige and power. When asked what profession they want to go into, many young people in Tlaxcala reportedly say human trafficking. The prevalence of human trafficking is the result of deeply entrenched gender norms and the belief that women are less valuable than men are.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) in 2017, in the state of Tlaxcala 1 in 5 women had their first child before age 18, the seventh highest rate in the country. Additionally, the National Institute for Women and the Gender Statistics System (SIG) reports that the fertility rate among young women ages 12-18 has increased in recent years. With a rising pregnancy rate among very young adolescents in Mexico, there is the need for earlier comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education for 10-14 year olds.
Gender-based violence is also prevalent in Tlaxcala—INEGI statistics from 2016 showed that over their lifetime, 40% of women in the state of Tlaxcala suffered violence from their partner, 30% experienced violence at the community level, 25% experienced violence at work, and 20% suffered violence in their schools. The 2016 National Survey on the Dynamics of Relationships in Households (ENDIREH) reported that violence is growing, with a 53% increase in reported violence against women in schools and a 14.4% increase in community violence compared to the 2014 survey. Young people acquire ideas and attitudes in childhood that legitimize and reproduce violence in dating relationships and later on in their lives.
Founded in 2000 by a group of young people after their friend was murdered by another youth, Cauce Ciudadano A.C. seeks to train young people to become agents of social change to prevent, treat, mitigate and repair the damage caused by violence and organized crime. Since its founding, Cauce has worked in 62 municipalities in 22 Mexican states. The organization has four focus areas: recreational and educational workshops to develop life skills among youth; crime prevention among young people living in areas with high crime rates; training processes that allow young people to acquire job skills and psychosocial skills to improve their quality of life; and influencing public policy related to youth rights. Cauce’s program model, which seeks to decrease gender-based violence by encouraging young people to question the values and practices that lead to such violence, received a Recognition of Excellence from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the Juscelino Kubitschek Award (2013), and Honorable Mention in the World Bank’s Regional Contest on Initiatives to Promote Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (2014).
EMpower’s 3rd grant to Cauce Ciudadano would refine its curriculum so that content is more grade specific, implement its “Living out my sexuality with (gender) equity” program that includes both sexual and reproductive health education and gender equity promotion training in eight schools, serving 1550 middle school students and sensitizing 245 parents and teachers on these issues. Cauce would also support select youth promoters to lead awareness raising activities in their schools and dialogue with government officials about the challenges youth face related to violence and SRH.
Primary Location: Tlaxcala
Funded Since: 2016
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