Gender Equality Update – Angelica Fuentes and U.N. Girl Up Push Legislation in Guatemala to Change Legal Age of Marriage From 14 to 18 Years Old
Implementation of Legislation for the Girl Up in Guatemala Initiative Moving Legal Age of Marriage to Protect Approx. 3.5 Million Children Over the Next 4 Years
EL PASO, TX–(Oct 3, 2016) – Angélica Fuentes Foundation (FAF), a private institution committed to the overall empowerment of women of all ages through the strengthening and financing of organizations that support women’s advancement, proudly announces the social and youth initiative that caused Guatemala Legislation to raise the legal marriage age from 14 to 18 years passed in January 2016 is one of the greatest milestones in Latin American youth rights in decades. The joint effort between the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up and Angélica Fuentes Foundation (FAF) will have an immediate impact by protecting 3.5 million children (approx. 22% of current country population).
The financial structuring and funding of the Girl Up campaign in Guatemala have been led by Angelica Fuentes Foundation, which invested $1.5 Million representing 60% of the total project investment aimed at strengthening women’s empowerment and gender equality in this country. The changes to Guatemala’s law created a wide field of opportunity to generate favorable living conditions to Guatemalan women, largely indigenous, by inhibiting the practice of forcing girls to marry at an early age, a situation that forces them to not complete their education and constrains opportunities to reach their full potential. The Girl Up campaign also had the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as coordinating body and NGO Let Girls Lead.
Angelica Fuentes, Founder of the Angelica Fuentes Foundation, commented, “This is a huge win for the gender equality movement and this legal reform represents a major advancement in the efforts of protecting our youth by given them a chance to grow up and develop on their own. I am very motivated by this progress and now we are looking at other surrounding countries to follow suit. It should be our most important mission to protect our youth — this legislation alone will have a trickle-down effect protecting and preserving over approx. 40% of the country’s population which are currently under the age of 18 years old.”
“The support of the Angelica Fuentes Foundation has been instrumental in pursuing the objectives of Girl Up and its partners. This historic change in Guatemala sends a message to everyone regarding the importance to guarantee the right for education of all girls and women, to have the freedom to decide for themselves and to have opportunities for a better future,” said Melissa Hillebrenner Kilby, Director of Girl Up at the United Nations Foundation Initiative.
About Angélica Fuentes Foundation
Angélica Fuentes Foundation believes that women empowerment and gender equality are some of the most efficient tools for social, economic and environmental development. They envision a world in which women and men cooperate and work together in a context of equanimity and equality of opportunities, where women are able to fully participate in all the areas of human endeavor, for their personal wellbeing as well as that of the communities they live in.
Angélica Fuentes Foundation’s goal is to promote and encourage gender equality and women empowerment in Latin America as one of the most efficient tools for economic, social and environmental development in the region. To achieve this goal, they work with a model that seeks to accurately measure the impact they can have in communities and countries where they have a direct or indirect presence, through their programs, their network of organizations or those for which they provide financial support and consulting.
The measurement carried out by the Foundation seeks to define comparative criteria to evaluate the economic participation of men and women, access to education and professional development, as well as pay equity by gender. Likewise, these measurements also allow monitoring the direct impact these rights have on other externalities such as teenage pregnancy, gender violence and access to justice, as well as the well-being and progress of the community in general.
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