"Who do think among Filipinos successful in politics, science, business, arts or medicine known for their achievements would be a great model for the youth of today and why?"
Jean Enriquez is an inspirational Filipina who has spent much of her life fighting for the rights of others. Her story inspires me and should be shared with students and people around the world. When Jean was younger she was raped in college and then became pregnant in an abusive relationship. Most people would have a hard time overcoming these experiences and they might make a person weak, but instead it inspired Jean to take action against the abuse of women and serve as an advocate for women’s rights.
She has spent over 30 years working for human rights with a special passion and focus on international women’s human rights and became the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. In the Philippines she helped to draft an anti-trafficking bill to end human trafficking. She is an advisor, resource person, and trainer for groups fighting trafficking as well as an educator of women on their health and rights.
She has expanded her cause outside of the Philippines and has spoken in 31 countries including South Asia, Bangladesh and Cambodia – where there are no women’s rights, meaning Enriquez is giving these poorly treated women a voice. Jean has also been invited to speak at the United Nations to share about her successful anti-trafficking projects she has led. In 2007, Marie Claire Magazine recognized her as one of the Ten Women of the Year.
The fact that Enriquez is working in less fortunate countries means she is providing women with a voice that have no voice and giving them a reason to stand up and fight for their own rights. Enriquez has taken on the responsibility for the women who need it the most.
Enriquez is an idol of mine because she faced a very negative personal situation, rose above it and then did everything she could to make sure no one else had to suffer the same way. She found a cause and fought for it, and by being brave and dedicating so much time and effort, she has helped to change the lives of many women in the Philippines and all over the world. I look up to Jean Enriquez because she went against all odds and is changing the world for the better.