“In my community we have opportunities, but because of drugs, people opt for a life riddled with violence. This has led to women being assaulted and girls being killed practically every day.
I want to make girls and women realise they don’t deserve to be beaten
“My work with Plan International Brazil has made me realise that if we see people experiencing difficulties, sinking deeper into drugs and violence, we must try to help.
“I want to make girls and women realise they don’t deserve to be beaten. Together we can fight for their rights. It inspires me when I see girls standing up for themselves and calling for gender equality. They deserve to have a voice and it makes me want to fight for girls’ rights too.
“Recently, I was going to attend a conference with another boy, but it didn’t feel right, so I called Luciana, Plan International Brazil’s fieldworker, and said, 'Instead of a boy, a girl must go and represent our city.' We managed to make the change and travelled to the capital Brasilia together – it made me happy to see her chasing her dream.”
Women have the same rights as men and we must respect that
“Regardless of colour, race, gender or religion, we are one – that’s what I’ve learnt from Plan International Brazil.
“Yet, violence still takes place in my community and women continue to suffer. I live close to a couple who have a lot of fights. One evening, they had a big fight.
Join the global movement for girls' rights “I told the man to let go of his wife. I said, 'Hitting women is a crime.' He replied, 'This is my woman and I will hit her when I want.' They are still together and from what I understand, she doesn’t want to leave him as she is reliant on him for child support. This is common in my community.
“Women have the same rights as men and we must respect that. That’s why we have to educate our communities. Men in Brazil have to learn to be polite, gentle and kind – but most of all, we have to respect women’s rights.”
“If we want to prevent women from suffering violence, children need to start learning why violence must not be tolerated from a young age. This can be done through social projects, discussions and education.
children need to start learning why violence must not be tolerated from a young age
“It’s difficult to grow up here. I often worry for my sister. She goes to college at night and when she leaves the house, I fear for her safety. I don’t sleep until she has come home.
“I’ve also witnessed violence in my house. My dad has violent traits, which he picked up from his father – it’s cultural. I’ve decided that when I have children, my approach will be totally different.
“I am involved in the Goals for Peace project, where I learn about youth rights – it is such an important movement to be part of and one I really enjoy.”
Take a look at the brand new, girl-led campaign for gender equality: