Ruth Katherine Muenala
Youth Activist Plan International

My name is Ruth Muenala, I am 16 years old and I live in Quito. I am an indigenous woman and I have a hearing impairment. My disability is not an obstacle, it is a motivation that strengthens me and moves me forward every day. For a year now, I actively participate in the Because I´m a Girl Movement with Plan International and I am committed to promote change and continue fighting for gender equality.
I work to ensure that the rights of people, especially girls and adolescents, are fulfilled, including Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights, which means guaranteeing the free exercise of people's sexuality based on respect, gender equality, freedom and above all safety. This means that we exercise our sexuality however we feel comfortable and safe and with whoever we want, there should be no discrimination based on our sexual orientation, our age or any situation we have.
In September, I participated in the regional preparatory meeting in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Nairobi Summit. For me, it was a great opportunity to put these problems on the table and share the realities that are lived in Ecuador and that harm us and that really affect our lives. 

All photos are courtesy of speakers or their affiliations unless otherwise indicated.