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Improving gender equality in school-to-work transitions for poor and vulnerable youth in Argentina

Mar 13, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Bank (IDB) Group, approved a technical assistance project to be executed by Fundación Cimientos in Argentina. The project will seek to reduce the gaps between Cimientos’ male and female beneficiaries in both labor market insertion and educational continuity. To do so, the project will develop and implement a gender mainstreamed methodology for supporting youth in their school-to-work transitions. This will ensure equitable access to opportunities for poor and low income women and men to finish high school, continue studying in higher education, and/or enter into the labor market. The project will work directly with 80-100 young people (half of them women), public schools from Cimientos’ network, and private sector employers.

For young people in Argentina today, the school-to-work transition is more difficult than it was just two decades ago, and is particularly problematic for poor and vulnerable youth. By and large, women have a higher rate of school retention at the high school level, but find it more difficult to enter into the labor market than their male counterparts.  Young men enter into the labor market at higher rates than women, but at an earlier age and often in precarious jobs. Therefore, each sex has different variables that hinder the accomplishment of an "ideal" transition from formal education to employment, or from high school to higher education.

High school education in Argentina, mandatory since Education Law 26.206 was passed in 2006, presents serious rates of school completion among poor and vulnerable youth: the inter-annual drop-out rate is 15.5% and the rate of grade repetition is 7.5%. The actual high school grade promotion rate is only 77%. This indicator is even lower for at-risk students. The drop-out rate negatively effects insertion in the labor market under respectable conditions. 

In relation to youth insertion into the labor market, the unemployment rate for young women is significantly higher than that of men: in Greater Buenos Aires, the unemployment rate of young, poor and vulnerable women is double that of men. 

By developing a gender mainstreamed methodology that supports youth school-to-work transition, Cimientos will be able to promote equal opportunities for poor and low income women and men finishing high school, continuing studying in higher education, and/or entering into the labor market.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor - their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them the tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory - experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks in order to build and support successful micro and SME business models. More information at www.fomin.org.

About Cimientos 

Cimientos is a nonprofit organization with the conviction that education is the best tool for overcoming the vicious circle of poverty, lack of training, and social exclusion. Its programs have significant coverage (1,000 young people participate each year), geographical breadth (presence throughout the country) and an excellent relationship with participating youth and schools, as well as with more than 60 public and private sector organizations, and 1,500 individuals who finance its programs. 

More information about Cimientos: www.cimientos.org.ar

 
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