Involving young people in school and other activities like activists in organizations or youth clubs is a very important issue. This makes young people future active citizens.
I am a girl, I live in an urban area, I study in a school in the city and I am involved in a lot of activities. Unfortunately, not all girls around me are in the same position.
Young girls from some rural areas in the Tetovo and Skopje regions face a lot of prejudices that regress their activism. This information is contained in two case studies prepared several months ago within a project of the Association Women’s Forum Tetovo.
The findings of direct conversations with young girls show that they are doubly discriminated. On the one hand, because they are girls – compared to boys, and on the other, because they live in rural areas – compared to those living in urban areas.
The stereotypes are visible in many areas but the most interesting for me is education.
Young girls still face pressure from the environment, that they should be good housewives and that they should take care of their marriage, family and children. This prevents them from being involved in the educational process for a longer time.
Not all villages have a primary school and there are high schools only in the cities. So students sometimes have to travel long distances to get to school. For the young girls the distance is a reason for choosing a high school (they choose schools closer to where they live – not according to their wishes and ambitions). Girls also don’t feel safe enough to use public transport to get to school.
Traditions and stereotypes that start from the educational process affect young girls later in choosing a profession and employment, as well. In rural areas, people still believe that girls should work in so-called “female professions” and lower paying jobs.
We as young generations can contribute to overcoming stereotypes for active inclusion and participation of young girls from rural areas in all areas of social life.
Let us work together to improve the position of girls and create equal opportunities for all young people without any kind of discrimination.