Behind the Mask
Equality — Venezuela
During this pandemic, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has increased enormously. Gender-based violence, lack of food, medicine, and educational deficiency have hit Venezuelan society to the core.
In Venezuela, we had a strict quarantine that started in February and finished in September, then we entered a “relaxed” quarantine, with biosecurity protocols such as wearing masks and gloves, keeping social distance, and antibacterial protection. However, cases are rising and we are still working towards the end of the pandemic in our country.
During this confinement, I found myself struggling to help improve the situation in my country, For this reason, together with other young women, I founded the first Girl Up club in the country: Girl Up Education Venezuela, with the idea that education is the key for gender equality. We have been working online using Google G-Suite tools and Zoom, and we have reached 30 members from all around the country. In the past four months, we have done around 10 WhatsApp ForoChats, webinars, and online chats. Since in Venezuela all schools were closed, it has been enriching to connect with an amazing team, with members who became my closest friends, even if we live in different cities and countries.
Through our work, we seek to reveal the gender inequality that exists in the country. We also carry out activities and campaigns to empower girls so that, from their homes, they have tools and develop activities that allow them to be agents of change.
We have also partnered with different organizations to give virtual English and math classes to girls in orphanages, as well as to educate about feminism and human rights. The girls are learning English very fast, since it’s much easier at an early age. They enjoyed learning vocabulary, difficult and rare words, and they are currently starting to sing karaoke in English, which they really enjoy.
— Ariana Contreras, 22
San Cristóbal, Venezuela