Tlaxcala is a state that faces problems of violence against women linked to organized crime and human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. This phenomenon reflects a cultural reality in Tlaxcala in which gender norms, especially those related to masculinity, are rooted in traditional patterns of the control and domination of women. For example, a recent study found that 20% of boys and male adolescents from third grade to ninth grade expressed interest in being pimps, due to the wealth and prestige that the business reports.
Violence against women in Tlaxcala is a prevailing problem. The state has experienced a growing trend in the number of hospital discharges of women in public institutions due to causes directly related to violence (from 1,380 cases in 2004 to 2,039 cases in 2014) - note that cases of violence tend to be drastically under-reported. Within this context, middle school teachers have reported a serious problem of violence among adolescents (girls being insulted or pushed by partners in dating relationships), though it is often not viewed as violence by the young persons involved, such behavior has become normalized.
Mexico has the highest teen pregnancy rate of all OECD countries, with 77 births per 1,000 youth ages 15-19 years old (for comparison the global rate is 46 per one thousand youth). While the number of adolescent pregnancies decreased from 400,000 to 340,000 a year after former President Enrique Pena Nieto put the National Strategy to Prevent Adolescent Pregnancy in place in January 2015, this rate is still alarmingly high. According to the Secretary of Health, at least one in five births in Tlaxcala’s health system are to young women under sixteen years of age. While becoming a parent radically changes a young person’s life, it often has significantly greater consequences for the mother, including school desertion and changes in aspirations for social development.
GENDES A.C. seeks to support men to become active participants in achieving gender equality and eradicating gender-based violence. Formally registered in 2008, GENDES A.C. works from a gender perspective, with an emphasis on masculinities, to promote processes of reflection, intervention, research and advocacy to promote and strengthen- in partnership with other actors- gender-equitable relationships. It uses its CECEVIM model (which stands for training Center to Eradicate Domestic Violence by Men and was developed by co-founder Dr. Antonio Ramierez) to help men who have committed domestic violence to change their attitudes and practices (often based on traditional notions of masculinity) that lead to violence. Recognized as a national leader on preventing gender-based violence, GENDES A.C. has worked with various government entities on models of prevention and care. In 2018, it worked with UBER Mexico to train male drivers on how to respectfully engage female clients. Understanding that it cannot singlehandedly prevent gender-based violence and gender inequality, GENDES A.C. encourages other organizations to replicate its work. In 2011, it developed an international network of 17 groups from Mexico, the United States, Panama, and Uruguay that implement its CECEVIM model. GENDES A.C. also engages young people on the topic of gender equality, seeking to challenge traditional gender norms and foster gender-equitable attitudes and practices while their cognitive development is still underway and they are still in the process of developing their gender identity. Two of GENDES A.C. three co-founders still work for the organization, Mauro Antonio Vargas Urias in the role of Director, and Ricardo Ayllon Gonzalez as the Head of Methodology. GENDES A.C. also has experienced staff in the areas of training, research and evaluation.
EMpower’s 2nd grant to GENDES A.C. will strengthen its programming for very young adolescents (ages 10-14) in Tlaxcala by combining several key topics- life skills, gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence and unwanted teenage pregnancy - into a single curriculum, training two local organizations in its revised methodology, and implementing a series of in-school workshops using the new curriculum to reach 200 youth.
Primary Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Funded Since: 2018
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