The world must change for working girls and adolescents: we want to study and have a dignified life for our families.

The world must change for working girls and adolescents: we want to study and have a decent life for our families.


Thalia is a 16-year-old Peruvian teenager. Since she was a child, she has learned the value of decent work and thanks to this she has been able to support her family, pay for her studies and aspires to study at university. She is a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Movement of Working Children and Adolescent Workers (MOLACNATS). For three years she has been participating in political advocacy spaces such as participatory budgets in her community, but this year she took a great leap forward by bringing the voice of girls in the region to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65).

During CSW65, Thalia participated in the session “CSW65: Girls Talking Circle”, organized by The Working Group on Girls and UN Women, along with more than 100 girls and adolescents from around the world. The objective of this dialogue circle was to amplify the voices of girls and increase their visibility in the Equality Generation forum, ensuring their leadership and participation in political processes at the local, national and global levels.

During the session, Thalia emphasized that States must protect the rights of working girls and adolescents and provide them with opportunities for participation, and that the safety of girls and adolescents in their homes and in public spaces must be prioritized. Finally, he pointed out that public investment in the education of girls and adolescents should be increased.

Thalia was also able to raise her voice at the high-level event “Beyond the Shadow Pandemic: Preventing and Responding to Adolescent Girls’ Risks and Experiences of Gender-Based Violence,” organized by Save the Children and the Women’s Refugee Commission. In her speech she spoke about the impact that the pandemic has had on the lives of girls and adolescents: domestic, labor and public violence; early unions; barriers to access public services such as sexual and reproductive health; difficulty to study due to lack of internet and technological equipment….

Thalia is a teenager who is not only aware of the problems that affect girls and adolescents, but also proposes solutions from her perspective as a working girl. “In the recovery of the economy, decent work must be guaranteed for boys, girls and adolescents, so that they do not suffer harassment and exploitation and that the payment is fair without making differences because they are girls and women. In the area of education, we must guarantee access to the Internet and comprehensive sex education with a gender perspective in schools,” she proposed.

Thalia was very proud and happy to participate representing the voice of the girls in both spaces. “I think it is important that we girls participate, so that adults and authorities can listen to us and know the reality from the point of view of working children. If they are looking for our good, they have to take us into account,” she said.

“I find it important the participation that girls from all over the world have had during the event [la Comisión sobre el Estatus de la Mujer]. I want to thank the organizations because the event has been very fruitful, as it has gathered the experience of many girls and I take away as a lesson that child participation must continue”.