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MDG3: Empowering African Women
Monica Carrillo is furiously blazing a trail for young Afro-Peruvian women in Lima. As a poet, performer, activist, and teacher, she is teaching the next generation to fight racism through self-confidence and knowledge.
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Director: Emily McDowell
Producer: Mark Harvey

Learn more about the Millennium Development Goals.

Read about the work of the European Commission and the UN Foundation.

Find out what Oxfam Novib, NCDO, and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Development are doing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Element (the series) was made by Element Partnership, with the assistance of Internews Europe and One World Media.
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Segment 1

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Element
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Lima, Peru
MONICA CARRILLO
I am going to guess what is in your mind. Do you want to see me, to touch me, to f*** me? You want me to be your queen for one day, and your slave for the rest of my life? It’s a lie, only a lie, just a lie.
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Millennium Development Goal #3: Promote gender equality and empower women
MONICA CARRILLO
When I am in the street, people say that my vagina is like rubber. People say, “black”, “f***ing n*****”, or “monkey.” I want to show another point of view about Afro-descendant people.
RADIO PRESENTER
I am proud to present one of our representatives of the fusion of different rhythms and cultures. How are you Monica? Good morning and welcome.
MONICA CARRILLO
Thanks very much for the invitation.
RADIO PRESENTER
Do you think there is still a lot to do in distinguishing between racism and sexism?
MONICA CARRILLO
Actually sexism towards women is related to racism.
MONICA CARRILLO
I think it is important for women to have the opportunity to know other women who are working, who are studying, who are fighting. Because if you are living in poor conditions, you don’t have other points of view on life. This is one of the most dangerous places in Lima. People have guns, people sell drugs. Girls are getting married or pregnant very young, maybe aged thirteen or fourteen, because they think that having sex is their unique possibility to get a better life. If we enter their lives now, we can stop the process.
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Afro-Peruvian kids’ workshop
MONICA CARRILLO
They are going to use the mask to express their feelings that maybe they don’t have the possibility of expressing in other situations.
GIRL 1
My name is Carina and I would like to be a model.
MONICA CARRILLO
Girls express that they are not happy with their body, with their race, with their face.
GIRL 1
When I look at myself in the mirror I tell myself I am not very pretty or very ugly but I am fat.
MONICA CARRILLO
They are suffering a lot because they are not white.
MONICA CARRILLO
And you eyes? What color are your eyes?
GIRL 2
My eyes are blue, I have short hair and I like to dance.
GIRL 3
When I look in the mirror I feel sad that I am not able to do the things I want to do.
MONICA CARRILLO
Through the masks they can express a life that maybe they’re not living at this moment.
GIRL 3
When I am older I want to be a lawyer and I want to be more cool because my self esteem is -- I am very boring.
MONICA CARRILLO
With masks they can recognize their face, their big lips and start to love themselves.
MONICA CARRILLO
What we want is for the masks to become our own face so that we don’t need the mask anymore to be happy and have the life we want.
MONICA CARRILLO
This is a process. This is a long process. But if you can find one indicator that they are hoping for another kind of life, that’s a good point. If children and teenagers have more self-confidence, that means we have better health conditions and fewer girls will get pregnant very young.
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Millennium Development Goal #5: Improve maternal health
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Millennium Development Goal #4: Reduce child mortality
MONICA CARRILLO
I think a woman can dance, can show her body, but with power. I have the power to show my body because I am using it as a way to express myself. I am Monica. I have two, or three, or six identities. I can’t decide on any one identity, I can only decide to promote human rights.
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Millennium Development Goals: eight goals for a better world by 2015. Every one counts. www.element-tv.net. Element. For more information, please visit http://www.tve.org.