Pauza Magazine Winter 2008 - Page 4

Human Rights and Discrimination: Presenting the Winners of the 2007 ELTAM and Peace Corps Essay Competition In the 2007 ELTAM essay contest themed “Human Rights and Discrimination,” 180 students from schools across Macedonia submitted essays in three age categories: year 7-8, 1-2 year secondary school, and 3-4 year secondary school. The grand prize in each of the three categories included a two-night, two person hotel stay package donated by HOTAM (the Macedonian Hotel Association) at Hotel Drim, Struga, Hotel Granit, Ohrid, or Hotel Doncho, Ohrid; a public reading of each student’s essay at the American Corner (ACM), Skopje, on Monday, December 10, 2007; and a copy of their essay printed in Pauza. In addition, over 40 students received awards as regional winners; these included a certificate and an English language book (donated by ELTAM, ACM, and the US Embassy). Over 20 Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and 30 Host-Country Nationals (HCNs) were involved in this contest, with special thanks to Emily Audette and Tara Trepanier for coordinating the contest. Discrimination* Alexandra Kostovska, 12th grade Discrimination, different treatment of others based solely on their membership in a socially distinct group or category, such as race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, or disability. One of the most pervasive forms of discrimination in the United States and elsewhere is that directed toward racial and ethnic groups. American women have historically been victimized by discrimination in voting (which was not secured for women until a 1920 constitutional amendment), employment, and other civil rights (for many years, for example, women were denied the right to serve on juries). In the late 1060s, women organized to demand legal equality with men. Unluckily, even today the women worldwide do not have legal equality with men. Unfortunately in some countries (as the Muslim countries for example, women do not enjoy the same rights as the male population does. They do not have the free choice to wear what they like, or to be involve into the politics or education. According the beliefs of these people women must be at home and her only role in the family is to raise the children. It is widely known that the black people during the history of America were slaves and worked on the estates of the rich white American people. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the constitutional amendments that followed the American Civil War (1861-1865) changed the legal status of African Americans. The black people in the USA were also discriminated in America’s newer history. They were considered inferior in the society. For instance, the marriages between black and white people were strictly forbidden and they were exposed on violence attacks very often. A lot of organizations as the KKK were established to work against the black people and to spread the anti-black people policy. In my opinion, there is no place for discrimination on the 21st century.  - pauza All the people are equal and we must respect the other people and cultures and be tolerant towards them. The world is build on the base of the relations between the different people. That base is so solid that we have to maintain by mutual consideration. However, today they have more human rights than in the past when many schools were for white children only because black children were not admitted, also black people couldn’t eat in the same restaurants like the white, drink water from the same fountains or sit on the sane bus seats. Fortunately, today a lot of things have changed and black people have the same rights like the white people. Nevertheless, in my opinion, white people have to show more respect to all black people. A hero who fought for the rights of black people was Martin Luther King. He was a really special person and I really admire him. He organized the non-violent protests against racial discrimination and he died when he was very young, but his achievements were considerable and they have to be an example for all of us. Also, Mother Theresa and Esma Redzepova from our country are special women and really humane people who have to be an inspiration to the people everywhere. In my opinion, the youth and society have to help to address this problem by organizing different meetings in schools, companies, town squares, and many other places to arouse people’s awareness concerning this problem. They should also take part in TV shows, radio programs, do internet profiles and reach everybody’s hearts in order to help the people I’ve been talking about above. My message to the world is: Help now, don’t leave it for tomorrow! Seize the day and make a difference!