I can’t breathe.

The world was shaken up this week by a terrible incident in which the US police killed a black man. The story made headlines worldwide and sparked many protests against inequality. It is time to stop discrimination based on skin color, gender, disabilities, and any other form where human differences lead to animosity. In Peru, people also still fight daily against inequality in their society.

George Floyd is a name that is no longer unfamiliar to the world. He is now the symbol of the inequality that is still present worldwide today. It opened our eyes and is calling for change and justice. We are not born with hatred for any particular group. This is caused by society and that is exactly why something has to change now.

Although we don’t always see it, discrimination is still a global problem. Just think of the many countries where people with a different sexual orientation are still considered criminals. People with disabilities are seen as the dirt of the street. Women must live in isolation without opportunities for self-development.

The latter is also a very big problem in Peru. Every day, an enormous amount of women and children are mistreated, abused, and excluded in society. Unfortunately, also our mothers and children of the project are often confronted with domestic violence. Sadly, this has only worsened since the spread of COVID-19. From March 15 until the end of April, 7 female murders, 1,585 cases of violence against women, and 196 rapes were reported across Peru, 114 of which against children and adolescents.

Especially in the poor regions and with the Quechua community, male chauvinism is still very much present. Peruvian men consider themselves the boss and they treat their women as slaves. They are often not allowed to come outside and can only work in the household. They have not been given the opportunity to receive valuable education, which means that the vicious circle continues to run. So it’s time for a change.

It is important that we do not ignore this and take action. How? By recognizing the problem and standing up for ourselves. We must call for equal rights for men and women, and in this way also give women a fair chance for a place in society where they can develop themselves into who they want to be.

Amnesty International has launched a petition demanding that the Peruvian state implement a gender-focused policy to help reduce the vulnerability of women and children. Do you also want to help? Follow the link to sign the petition. Because only together can we make a difference! We must strive for equality as the global standard respected by all.

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