"I'm happy. I already know how to read, write, add and subtract ... At the market, they no longer deceive me," says Moupke. She is 43 years old and has seven children. She attended literacy courses for women at the Don Bosco Center in Kara, Togo. "Many men think that women do not have much to give ... They just want dinner to be ready when they get home," she adds.
The involvement and participation of women in the life of society is fundamental for the development of peoples and the fight against poverty. The Congregation and all the Salesian institutions want to profess, on International Women's Day, the importance of women as agents for the development of their communities and as the backbone of the family.
All Salesian organizations and institutions are aimed at overcoming the structures that create inequality, and at the same time, they are committed to protecting and guaranteeing that the rights of women and girls are equal to those of men, why they invest in education. A girl who goes to school will not marry at an early age and will not have children when she is still little more than a child; moreover, she will take better care of hygiene and family nutrition, and will also want her own children to go to school, participate in decision-making processes and know their rights and duties as citizens.
The future to which all Salesian works aspire to is a future in which men and women actually do have the same opportunities. "Our dream is that in the shortest possible time we have societies where equality is normal and is the basis for the development of any and all persons," explains Jesús Corujo, coordinator of the Spanish Salesian NGOs.
"The world cannot afford to exclude 50% of its population. Women and girls must have their own spaces and the international community must listen to their requests," adds Ana Muñoz, Spokesman for "Misiones Salesianas" in Madrid.
Ongoing support for thousands of women and girls through projects for the most vulnerable, as well as programs for literacy, education, maternity support, activities and talks to raise awareness of their rights, training of local managers and supervisors are just some of the actions the Salesians carry out in over 130 countries. The education of girls and women is fundamental to fostering their autonomy and empowering them to speak with their own voice.