Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Katherine, Honduras


“Adolescence for me is the stage that has been most misjudged, saying that we suffer and that we make bad decisions, that we always make mistakes and that is not the case, we are young people who take the initiative, the desire to learn, and to build a future… I do not consider that age is a limitation in that aspect, it is a stage that has been much labelled, stereotyped, as a negative phase of our life, I obviously consider that it is the best.”

Katherine’s Story

Wearing her pañuelo verde (green scarf), Katherine shares: “it wasn’t too long ago that I identified myself as a feminist. I began to get into feminism through its history. I feel so passionate about it, and it’s something that I’m always thinking about. I always wear this scarf.”

Katherine began her work when she was 12 at her school to control the student fight and neglect of their educational centre. She also became president of an electoral tribunal. They called themselves: “Teenager agents, health volunteers” and worked to provide youth with access to an integral education in their homes and educational centres.

Her leadership was relentless. She recognized the importance of raising her voice and building community. With sadness, she knew that many things needed to change. As she shared: “women’s situation in this country is complicated. Currently, there are 154,626 childbirths from girls. This is in the last four years alone. Those are alarming numbers.” She worked on preventing child marriage through the youth space that she was a part of.  Looking at the girls, not from a statistical point of view, but understanding that this is the life that they had been told to live. And they need to learn about their rights and how they have been taken away.

At her internship in the school where her mom works, Katherine worked on advocacy. She accompanied sexual abuse complaints of girls and boys. Due to this situation, she faced persecution and the denial to access some spaces. She shared: “In here, we suffer censorship. On many occasions, they limit our basic rights to protest for our needs and demands. The repression has put our lives and freedom at risk. That’s why I take the streets”.

These situations have been easy, but they have not stopped her activism. Katherine expands: “The context makes me reaffirm the basic need to create spaces of solidarity and love, and continue the fight for these girls, boys, and youth, considering them as our equals in a more empathic way. We need spaces where inclusion is the fundamental, from the most vulnerable to those with some privileges,  considering all the factors surrounding girls.”

Katherine has so much admiration for the Lenca women. She sees them as life rivers, history knitters, and examples of resistance rooted in collective love. And shares: “I identify myself as a Lenca woman. They are my Honduran roots. Roots that had been snatched from us to exploit our land. Our central elements have been stolen, such as our native tongue. They have  oppressed our identities and excluded us from many spaces, especially girls and  women.”

Currently, she is part of a women’s network in her municipality. They fight against climate change in Honduras, land rights, and abuse cases against women. From her experience, she believes in the importance of listening to girls and youth, of supporting them. Katherine wants all the girls in the world to know that they are healthy and powerful, fully capable and should never consider their age as a determinant of their leadership and experience. Experience is built upon our lived realities. No adult should tell you what you can’t do.