English Reading Practice

Human Right Number 16:
Marriage and Family

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Marriage and Family" just below it.

3. Do the exercise at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Marriage and Family video. You can watch it in your own language at www.youthforhumanrights.org. (Simply click the word "language" at the top of their homepage.)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes 30 basic rights that each person has, simply because he or she is human.

This is human right number 16 (the simplified version):

"16. Marriage and Family. Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated."

Now read the short story about this important human right.

Marriage and Family  

Marcia is twenty years old. She is a successful college student. Her boyfriend Calvin is not a successful college student. He did not go to college. Instead, he decided to open a business.
A year goes by and Marcia finishes her first year in college. Calvin does very well with his business too. He has many customers and a few good employees.

One day, Calvin asks Marcia to marry him. She wants to say yes.

Marcia's parents do not want her to say yes. They think that she is too young for marriage. They say that Calvin is not good for her. He does not go to college. He will not have a college degree.

She tries to explain her point of view to them. "I am an adult. I know that I want to be Calvin's life partner," she says. "He is a good person and I love him. We are good for each other. We make a good team. It does not matter if he does not get a college degree. He can take good care of us."

Her parents continue to try to talk Marcia out of marriage right up until their wedding day. Marcia puts on her white dress and her mother says, "Are you sure you want to do this? You are so young. Maybe you should wait."

Marcia rolls her eyes, "Yes, Mom. I am very sure."

Marcia and Calvin do marry. They rent a nice apartment together. Marcia continues to do well in school. Calvin's business grows. They begin to talk about a family and children.

Marcia's parents see how happy Calvin makes her, and how stable their family is. They begin to understand Marcia's point of view.

Finally, Marcia's mother says, "You are right, Marcia. You were always right. You are an adult and you do have the right to marry and to start a family. Calvin is a good choice. We are proud of you both!"

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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