There are women in Rosa’s community in Colombia who don’t take professional jobs because their husbands forbid it. These women are forced to believe that a woman’s purpose is to take care of the home, and a man’s purpose is to have a career. There is no agency — no choice in these roles. And there are girls and boys watching this who think that’s how things should be once they’re married too.
But because of you, Rosa knows there’s a change coming.
Rosa is a participant in Plan’s Champions of Change program, supported by people like you, which allows boys and girls to play soccer together and have open conversations about gender equality. In a survey conducted by Plan, 44% of youth participants believed being violent is part of men’s nature. But Champions of Change is allowing young people to work together and find solutions that transform their cultures. Since Rosa has been in the program, she’s seeing male and female relationships much differently.
“The boys used to be chauvinistic, but now they’re treating us differently,” she says. “Girls are becoming more confident and powerful. I’ve learned to take control of my life, and help others who might still not know how to do that.”
Rosa says many girls in her community, including some of her friends, think it’s desirable to become a mother at a young age. “If they have a boyfriend, they think the best way to keep their boyfriend is to have children with him.” But with Champions of Change, more girls are realizing that this isn’t their only potential.
“We have our own thoughts and can do the same things that men do,” Rosa says. “We are not objects, we are human beings. We’re equal.”
In a community where girls are rarely asked what they think, you’re helping to ensure that Rosa is being listened to — by boys, men, and women alike. Because of that, she’s no longer fearful of her future. She’s hopeful. “Girls are becoming a force, and we’re changing minds,” she says. And they have you to thank for giving them the wheel.