“We don’t have a vote, but we have a voice, we are citizens and we are the future.” That’s how forceful Coral, 17, was at the presentation of the Opinion Barometer of Childhood and Adolescence 2019 of Unicef, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Young people between 11 and 18 years old in Spain are concerned about theGender inequalities, machismo and sexist violence (89.1%), followed by hunger, poverty and social inequalities (88.5% and 85.4%), in addition to the deterioration of the environment and climate change (84.5%). Those are some of the main conclusions reached by UNICEF in this report, reThe result of a survey in which 8,598 children and adolescents from all over the country participated, spread over 133 different educational centers.
51 women have been killed by your partners or ex-partners in Spain so far of 2019, the same figure as in all of 2018. More and more society is becoming aware of this problem, and children and adolescents are no strangers to it either. Machismo and gender inequality too. “When I go out and come home late, I feel safer if a friend comes with me, more than a friend, and I feel bad that I can’t go with a girl because I feel more unprotected, “explained Estíbaliz, 17 years old and from Bilbao. “A decade ago these issues did not concern us, because there was not so much visibility. Many years of struggle to achieve equality are missing. Until the time comes when we go to March 8 and remember what we had to fight for our rights, but I trust that all together we will achieve it soon, ”says Coral (17), from Avilés.
In addition to these main concerns, almost one in four children surveyed (23.17%) indicates their education and training as their main concern. The second place is occupied by pollution and the environment (11.01%) and work and its future prospects (9.53%) in third position. “I would like to continue studying and I want to think that I will be able to have a good job and live well, even better than my parents, but right now that seems very difficult, and even more complicated for living on the island,” said 16-year-old Fabio , and Fuerteventura (Canary Islands).
“We girls have it more difficult. We have more pressure ”. “From the age of 12 or 13 we are instilled in girls with a fear that our fellow boys do not have to live with.” Estíbaliz and Coral tell us about the gender inequalities that affect them.#ChildrenMandan pic.twitter.com/j3Ee73ay3B
– UNICEF Spanish Committee (@unicef_es) November 19, 2019
Coral, Fabio, Estíbaliz and Yago, 14, from Pedrola (Aragon), are part of local councils for child and adolescent participation of Unicef. In addition to carrying out the barometer, the Spanish Committee launched discussion groups with 75 children who regularly participate in Councils for the Participation of Children and Adolescents in different parts of Spain. “We must promote the participation of children and adolescents and incorporate their vision in the design and implementation of policies that are directed at them. Experience has shown us that when we listen to them, we not only promote their rights, but we win as a society ”, said Carmen Molina, director of Childhood Awareness and Policies at Unicef Spanish Committee.
Despite concerns and being aware that there are situations in their environments that can improve, the children and adolescents surveyed value their lives very positively, assigning 7.6 points out of 10, and show a high quality of life index, ranking by almost 7 points out of 10. Of course, these levels of subjective well-being decrease as family wealth decreases and are lower among the population of foreign origin.
“I think I’m lucky. I have a family that takes care of me and supports me. Today I can talk about what worries me and what I would like to improve and I know that it is an opportunity that other children my age do not have in many places, ”Yago recalls. According to the responses of the respondents, what contributes the most to their well-being are the relationships with their friends and family, their hobbies and hobbies, as well as having time to play and have fun.
Politics and politicians, the worst valued
The young people surveyed are very critical of the political and economic situation: distrust grows in government institutions and political representatives. More than half (53.8%) consider that the current national political situation is bad or very bad. “Young people are not interested in politics because we see that politicians only take into account the people who can vote,” Fabio pointed out. Yago, who is 14 years old and has been actively participating in the Children’s Council of his municipality in Aragon for 6 years, encouraged all children and young people to join associations and organizations to collaborate and change things. “In the mayors and councilors of our municipality we see more closeness, and that they are closer to our problems, from day to day, “Yago explained.” How are we going to want to participate in politics if all we hear in the media is about corruption and controversies? “Coral wondered, of Avilés (Asturias).
How are we going to want to participate in politics if everything we hear in the media is about corruption and controversy?
Coral, 17 years old, Avilés
In addition, the children surveyed perceive that Spanish society cares little or less about some issues that are very important to them, such as education and training, giving priority to issues that are not equally relevant for the child and adolescent population, such as politics and economics. “We want to have a better education, and much more practical, like teaching us to know how to make the income or register for unemployment, because we will not always have our parents there to teach us,” concluded Fabio.
Check here full the Opinion Barometer of Childhood and Adolescence 2019.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.