By Ingrid, Girl Pioneer in 10th grade at the MAIA Impact School
Inequality is present in several areas and affects the development of society. Many today work for the development of our country—Guatemala—especially in rural indigenous communities where this problem occurs more deeply. In this case, the best solution for inequality is education. Many organizations work against inequality, supporting young people to create positive change. The solution lies in each of us.
Education is a very powerful weapon to combat inequality and other problems that exist in our society. Inequality exists all around the world. A very clear example of inequality in my community is that women are not allowed to go to school and are prohibited from doing many things, but men have many more opportunities. Gender inequality is an ideology that has been passed from generation to generation, until today our father and even our mother herself hold onto that ideology. Parents believe that their sons are worth more than their daughters. Women have been instilled with the custom of serving men, and this practice continues today in many households. the solution.
Social inequality also has much to do with local and global problems. In general, people with more economic resources have more opportunities than poor people. In my community, most people, male or female, are not studying, mostly due to a lack of economic resources, but it is also due to the lack of knowledge about the importance of education. People see that only ladinos (people of mainly Spanish descent) have access to opportunities; that is why they think that studying is a waste of time. If an indigenous person studies and graduates, it is very difficult to find a job because of systemic discrimination. That is why most people in rural communities work at home or as day laborers; there are few formal jobs available.
Inequality will remain a problem as long as we do not seek a solution. For a society that seeks positive change and good development, it is very important to start with each person—our thoughts, knowledge, and the desire for a better future. Education starts with each of us. We cannot create this change if we do not include youth as part of the solution.
Ending the dilemma of inequality requires that we lift the barriers that prevent people from fulfilling their goals and dreams. Knowledge comes from high-quality education, from good educators who support learning. Let’s start ourselves and set the example for our communities to break this paradigm by being exemplary. It is true that there are many challenges and obstacles, but if we can access these opportunities, why not take advantage of them? We must not repeat the same story of our parents, so let’s start thinking! We have all gone through a very difficult situation or we are going through one now, but let’s think about our future, about the lack of opportunities we will have, and the inequality that continues to exist in our communities if we don’t push forward toward our goals.
Education can support indigenous communities to have good development and more opportunities for all. The actions we take today can change the world little by little and can replace inequality with a world with equal opportunities for all.