The women of Coordinadora Juvenil por la Equidad de Genero are nothing short of a powerhouse.
Every month, they get over 6,000 calls to their Women’s Health Hotline. Through the hotline, callers receive information by trained staff about performing safe abortions using misoprostol.
In a country where abortions are illegal and the president speaks openly against the promotion of women’s health, this is a huge accomplishment. Did we mention members are 15 to 29 years old?
“We know that sisterhood is the key to living well,” wrote 21-year-old Sarahi Maldonado of Coordinadora Juvenil por la Equidad de Genero [The Youth Coordination for Gender Equality]… “The fight is our own and together, we give each other sustenance, support, happiness, and strength.”
To get the word out about the Women’s Health Hotline, Sarahi and her colleagues made large banners that read, “Safe Abortion,” with the phone number of the hotline. They displayed the signs at soccer games, local clubs, bars, and rock concerts. In fact, they posted the banner on the famous statue of the Virgin of Panecillo in the capital city, Quito.
“We see the social fight as the possibility to build a world that is equal, in solidarity, and just,” wrote Sarahi.
With support from Global Fund, in partnership with the Nike Foundation's Grassroots Girls Initiative (GGI), Sarahi and members, Karla García, Verónica Vera, Stephanie Altamirano, organize workshops about reproductive rights in major cities around the country. They also share their knowledge by training other youth organizations across the region about women’s health.
“I feel like I’m always in a process of continual learning,” wrote Sarahi.