Human Rights. It’s a term many of us use casually in conversation when we talk about social justice and politics. We maybe even assume it to be common knowledge in many of the circles we are in. What does it mean, though, to a young Mayan girl growing up in a small town of Guatemala who has never heard the term before?
Today, in her mentorship meeting, Milsa learned about human rights and specifically her rights as a female. We asked Milsa what stood out to her from the presentation and following discussion:
“Before today I had never heard of the terms “human rights” or “women’s rights”. What I learned today was that I have the right to protect myself and say “no” to a boy if I don’t want to be with him. I want to focus on my education right now; I don’t want to be pressured into a relationship. I have the right to wait and to decide when I am ready to be with someone. What I want is to be with someone who respects me, who loves me; someone educated and hard-working. I have a friend who had to drop out of school and get married. When I see her now she talks about how sad she is that she didn’t get to continue her studies, that she didn’t get to make choices for herself and her future. I don’t want that to be my story.”
To learn that you have rights, to learn that you can make choices for yourself and your future; it’s a powerful tool that you have for life!