"We know how important it is to inform young people about the laws that protect them. We continue to advocate to show the authorities that young people are demanding their rights." – Fidelia Chub, WINGS Guatemala youth specialist
Women’s International Network for Guatemalan Solutions (WINGS) has worked for more than fifteen years to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services in Guatemala, a nation with high rates of poverty and persistent gender inequality. With two mobile medical units and more than 100 community health promoters throughout the nation, WINGS offers affordable sexual and reproductive health services to women and young people and is one of the only healthcare providers that reaches women living in rural and Indigenous communities.
Beyond healthcare provision, WINGS offers trainings for women and young people who want to educate their peers about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Nearly 150 young people participated in the leadership training program in 2015. Through this program, WINGS has built an extensive network of Youth Leaders who challenge traditional ideas about gender roles in urban and rural communities throughout the country.
In recent years, WINGS has documented significant shifts in how young people perceive gender roles and expectations. Eight out of ten young people now disagree with the idea that only men should work to support the household, which is an increase from six out of ten in 2013. In addition, a majority now say that gender-based violence is unacceptable and that girls have an equal right to education.
WINGS has pioneered bringing men and boys into the movement to end gender-based violence in Guatemala and assists them in becoming advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights. National and international organizations look to its approach as a model for their own work.
As the first organization in Guatemala to implement a comprehensive, community-based approach to sexual and reproductive health services, WINGS strategically re-evaluated its work in 2015. While its focus is to provide much-needed healthcare, it is now working to build sustainable, local leadership and encourages women and girls to become advocates for sexual and reproductive rights at the municipal level.
ADVANCING OUR MISSION
A report by the Foundation Center noted that only 1.3% of philanthropic funding to Central America between 2010 and 2012 supported work that prioritized the needs of women, girls, and LGBTQI people. Since 2011, we have provided WINGS with program support, general operating support, and travel grants that sustain initiatives that build the leadership of young people and Indigenous women, increase access to sexual and reproductive health services, and expand political advocacy. Our support of WINGS is a strategic opportunity to fortify movements for women’s rights and LGBTQI rights in Guatemala and across the region.