Context:Young people represent a quarter of Baja California Sur’s (BCS) population and are particularly vulnerable: 37% of women who had children in 2009 were between 15 and 24 years old, with almost one-fifth being teenage mothers. The incidence rate of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) among young people ages 20 to 24 was 45% in 2008 vs. the national rate of 14%. This high rate shows the lack of information about and/or usage of prevention methods; the vaccine for children and adolescents to prevent HPV is not currently being administered in BCS, although it is in many other states. Women and girls also suffer high rates of violence: 59% of women 15 and older have experienced incidents of violence by an intimate partner or other people in their family, community, work or school.
Organization: Founded in 1991 by Monica Janis (physician and public health/policy specialist) and Teresa Shields (non-profit business administration and adolescent specialist) to foster the empowerment and well-being of women and adolescents, Centro Mujeres (CM) remains the only nongovernmental organization of its kind in the state. CM offers counselling, health education, and basic preventive sexual and reproductive health services through a small clinic; provides information and referrals through their website; and conducts applied research on issues relevant to women and youth.
Current Grant: EMpower’s seventh grant to Centro Mujeres helps diversify CM’s funding base and set and operate a communication work plan for diverse publics at local, national and international levels.