I am Generation Equality: Isidora Guzmán: Youth and inclusion activist


This story has been adapted from UN Women's regional website for Latin America and the Caribbean

I am Generation Equality
Photo: Courtesy of Isadora Guzmán

I am Generation Equality because...

Three things you can do to become part of Generation Equality

  • Recognize the variety of realities that women live throughout the world
  • Promote education with an inclusive approach
  • Icon- a girl raises her arm
  • Advocate for public policies that recognize intersectionality

I think I was always in an environment that taught me the value of feminism, because my parents and my maternal grandmother raised me without barriers or stereotypes, teaching me that nothing and no one could keep me from achieving my goals. Of course, I would later learn that those values would be based on a movement created by courageous, determined women who sought their freedom from a system that had been oppressing them for years.

I became an activist for inclusion because I live with a disabling condition that has made me experience inequality firsthand. I realized there is misinformation and little empathy in society towards those who have been discriminated against throughout history, causing us to be left out of a society that does not accept differences.

Equality and inclusion for progress

By working towards inclusion, society can change the exclusionary paradigm, providing each person with specific tools so that they can live in dignity without any barriers. I advocate for inclusion in general and not solely for disability, because we all deserve to find our place in the world.

I think that action must be driven from inclusion, taking into consideration the variety of realities that women live throughout the world. We need to move away from the traditional model and connect from intersectionality.

We need equal access to education, which should be taught from childhood with an inclusive approach, because it generates respect and empathy.

If students recognize and value differences, both in gender and in other aspects of life, from the first years of schooling, in the future we will find people trained in inclusion, as well as women and men with inclusive consciences.

States must promote public policies that strengthen this idea of educating with an inclusive approach, creating educational proposals focused on promoting equal rights for their communities and ensuring access to this type of education.

One of the most common problems is the lack of mobility. When I was 13 years old, I created an application that helps people find a parking space in the city, using a system of censors. This helped them to move around the city in a more autonomous way. This is how I started to work on reducing the inequality gap that some people live with.

Taking forward commitments to equality

At the Generation Equality Forum, I stressed the importance of inclusive education and the consideration of the concept of intersectionality when making public policies, because when educating we must consider the diversity of our society, whether in tastes, ways of learning, and even ways of developing in the educational community and from that difference, bring out the greatest potential of each of the students. 

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“It is time to put the issues that have never been discussed on the table.”

SDG color stripe

I believe that the Generation Equality Forums  have made gender equality more visible. It is time to put the issues that have never been discussed on the table; for example, when I talk about women and disability, I often receive comments such as "men with disabilities are also important", "men with disabilities are also discriminated against" and of course it is true, but without gender equality, women with disabilities will continue to be twice as discriminated against, apart from the fact that, normally, disability is linked to poverty.

Everything that happened in the Forum makes the authorities and representatives of States connect with girls and women, understanding why it is important to achieve equality and thus, speed up the implementation of public policies in this aspect.

At the age of 16, Isidora Guzmán, a young Chilean activist, already has among her achievements the development of an app that helps people with disabilities to find adequate parking spaces in her municipality. She was born prematurely, at six months of gestation, which resulted in cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia, which affected her motor skills and led her to use a wheelchair. She has focused her activism on the struggle to create greater awareness of disability and advance towards universal accessibility. She is an advisor to Tenemos que Hablar de Chile (Chile, We have to Talk) and participates as an ambassador of the Tremendas collective in the area of inclusion, where she contributes to the promotion of sustainable cities and communities.