Follow-up to the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls’ country visits to Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Greece, Poland, Honduras, Chad, Samoa, Kuwait and Hungary

Presented by Ariel Ozdemir, Luna Plet and Olimpia Guidi

The Lenca, indigenous to southwestern Honduras and northeastern El Salvador, reside in approximately 50 villages within a 100-km radius of La Esperanza, the capital city of the mountainous Intibucá department. 1 Most of these villages find themselves on the outskirts of the public education system due to factors such as poverty, age, geographic isolation, gender, and ethnicity. These circumstances collectively contribute to the difficulty in accessing education for many inhabitants.
The educational hurdles for Lenca girls in Honduras, especially in regions like San Francisco de Opalaca, are intricate and deeply influenced by socio-economic, cultural, and geographical factors. These challenges are marked by restricted access to education due to economic constraints, particularly affecting girls pursuing primary education. Gender-sensitive education proves to be a critical aspect of the struggles faced by Lenca girls. Prevailing patriarchal norms pose obstacles to their educational opportunities.
Concerns about the quality of education in public schools, notably in regions like San Francisco de Opalaca, are pronounced. Challenges include limited access to junior high schools in most villages and the geographic obstacles that impede education beyond grade 6. 2 Inadequacies in the education infrastructure, such as a shortage of teachers and insufficient facilities, further hinder the provision of quality education for Lenca girls. Furthermore, with a literacy rate of 30-50%, the Lenca population typically spends an average of only four years in school. 3 This low educational attainment contributes to a pervasive sense of inferiority and a lack of confidence in advocating for a democratic and civil society.
The need for revamping the curriculum to address gender equality, stereotypes, and violence is evident. Emphasis is placed on incorporating human rights workshops to create awareness about gender, cultural, educational, and employment equality. 4 This approach strives to foster an inclusive and supportive educational environment, empowering Lenca girls and addressing societal challenges they encounter.

education for disadvantaged communities . 21 Women and girls, already facing obstacles in pursuing education, find themselves further marginalised by the privatisation of schooling . 22
Consider the challenges faced by promising young students in La Esperanza who experience increased fees due to their schools’ privatisation, leading to their education’s abandonment. This educational setback not only perpetuates the cycle of poverty but also underscores the gendered impact of privatisation on educational opportunities for women and girls.
Expanding on the educational aspect, it’s essential to recognise that privatisation can lead to a reduction in educational resources. Privatised institutions may prioritise profit over educational quality, leaving women in poverty with fewer educational support systems. This, in turn, perpetuates systemic disadvantages, limiting the potential for upward mobility through education.
Healthcare Challenges
Privatisation in the healthcare sector can pose significant challenges for vulnerable populations, particularly women. As essential healthcare services become privatised, the financial burden on impoverished women intensifies, limiting their access to crucial medical support. The lack of affordable healthcare options further entrenches gender disparities in health outcomes . 23

Download PDF


Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash


1 Susan Stone, “El Maestro En Casa,” El Maestro en Casa, accessed January 20, 2024,
2 Wanda Bedard, “2009 – Honduras,” 60 million girls, accessed January 20, 2024,
3 Susan Stone, “El Maestro En Casa,” El Maestro en Casa, accessed January 20, 2024,
4 Wanda Bedard, “2009 – Honduras,” 60 million girls, accessed January 20, 2024,

21 Edwards Jr, D. B., Moschetti, M., & Caravaca, A. (2023). Globalisation and privatisation of education in Honduras—Or the need to reconsider the dynamics and legacy of state formation. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 44(4), 635-649. Available at:
22 Murphy-Graham, E. (2007). Promoting participation in public life through secondary education: evidence from Honduras. Prospects, 37(1), 95-111. Available at:
23 Hasemann Lara, J. E. (2023). Health Sector Reform in Honduras: Privatisation as Institutional Bad Faith. Medical Anthropology, 42(1), 62-75. Available at:

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *