In Colombia’s Caribbean region, nearly 70% of households live below the poverty line, and women are particularly vulnerable: they have higher rates of unemployment and lower rates of schooling than their male counterparts, and they are vulnerable to violence and discrimination in both the public and the private sphere. Colectivo Mujeres al Derecho (MAD) was founded in 2003 by young women lawyers and law students from the city of Barranquilla to address women’s vulnerability through legal support, community organizing, advocacy, and research. Since 2003, MAD has provided legal support and orientation to over 1,000 women, worked with 34 rural women’s associations in Colombia’s Caribbean region, and convened a network of nearly 300 adolescent girls and young women focused on building young women’s leadership, amplifying their voices, and ensuring that youth-focused public policies and programs address their concerns and priorities.
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