Empowering Girls to Break out of Poverty

  • By Shaherazad Umbreen

Empowering Girls to Break out of Poverty

This article is written by a colleague at La Casa de Panchita, a project which promotes the empowerment of girls and adolescents who perform Child Domestic Work (CDW). Shoes by Shaherazad is proud to partner with GlobalGiving UK in supporting this organisation to empower young girls and women who need our support.

'The girls we support in Peru, not only enter school at a later age, but they also fall behind by up to three years, due to the limited time they are able to dedicate to their studies. And this situation also leads to other problems.

One of these problems is low self-esteem. CDWs do not value themselves due to the fact that domestic work is an underrated job in Peru. There is a general belief that it is an occupation for indigenous people, still victims of racism, or people of lower socio-economic classes. These adolescents experience abuse and disparagement:

  • “Employers often tell us: You are useless, worthless! If they think we did not do what they told us, the way they told us” (Patricia, 13, child domestic worker).
  • “My employer often tells me that I never learn what she teaches me. She gets very angry and shouts at me” (Maria, 14, child domestic worker).
  • “Employers often tell us that we are useless, that we are not able to perform the simplest task” (Diana, 12, child domestic worker).

At La Casa de Panchita, through workshops and individual guidance, CDWs learn about the risks involved in domestic work, as well as about their right to attend school and enjoy recreational time. They become aware of their rights, do not accept being mistreated anymore and start looking for better employment options (unfortunately, it is not always possible to withdraw these girls from child labor).

Our organization also implements activities to sensitize employers. We urge them to change their attitude towards domestic workers to end social segregation. It is a hard and round-the-clock task, but we are starting to see positive results!

Thank you for your continued support!

Best Regards,

Blanca Figuroa'

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