Overview: Participants describe a time when they stood up for themselves. These stories are then interpreted in human rights terms.

Time: About 1 hour.

Materials: Chart paper and markers, copies of the UDHR.


1. Divide participants into small groups. Ask them each to tell a story about a time when they stood up for themselves and their personal dignity/self-respect. When everyone has told a story, the group considers what support or individuals helped each person to take a stand.

2. Ask each group to choose one story to retell or act out for all participants. While listening, chart the stories on a wheel, with the action (e.g., I reported him for harassment) written on the "spokes." Write the things mentioned as supports (e.g., "I had savings" or "Supportive friends," between the spokes.

2. After all of the stories are told, go around the wheel and ask what human rights were involved in each story. Write these on the rim of the wheel.

4. Ask participants to match each right written on the rim with an article of the UDHR and write these above the right. Emphasize the relation of life experience to human rights.

Source: Julie Mertus, Nancy Flowers and Mallika Dutt, Local Action/ Global Change: Learning about the Human Rights of Women and Girls. (New York: UNIFEM, 1999) 12.