Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governanceKofi Annan
Oxford dictionary describes discrimination as “The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of ethnicity, age, sex, or disability”. More importantly, “Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another resulting in discrimination between right and wrong. Why does a human being discriminate? Do animals and other creatures on the earth discriminate? Is it a peril of evolution of mind? We do see discrimination all around. If you are not connected directly, you emote and align with the person who is being discriminated against. Imagine a situation where you are being discriminated against! The emotions you go through and the challenge of coping with the same. In the animal kingdom, it is the might that dominates. Still, interestingly it is limited only to satisfying the hunger other creatures are attacked. It is the humans who have complications. While the world is fighting to end poverty and enhance the quality of life, discrimination is a factor of society, making it difficult for people to live in a just world.
Knowingly or unknowingly, we grow in the world with subtle acceptance of discrimination. The diversity and things being different lay seeds for the discrimination to grow. But imagine the word everything is the same, and everyone is identical. Recall travelling to long distances to be there at places that are different from where you live, look at nature and revere the diversity in colour, fragrance, and shape. But then why do we discriminate? Is it something to do with our upbringing? Media plays a very impactful role and the way diversity is depicted. Humour is intended when a person is shown to have difficulty to walk or talk. Gender inequality, health issues have always been haunted societies. The last century has seen people being discriminated against when they encounter diseases like Leprosy and TB. The world has travelled a long way to tackle such issues. But then nature challenges with newer diseases like HIV and AIDS. While people affected by such diseases must suffer the health aspect of these, more daunting is the discrimination. Is it not the time to stand up and work towards ending the evil of discrimination? It is unfortunate that when the world is struggling to end discrimination and bring awareness that discrimination is standing to achieve ambitions, goals, and dreams. Discrimination has several facets, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, profession, education, and beliefs. Societies must work towards celebrating everyone is right to live a full life with dignity regardless of what and how they are. The world is resolving to attain a state where there is no discrimination. Since 2014, 1st March is being observed as “Zero Discrimination Day” led by the UN and other international organisations. The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice.
The day is particularly noted by organisations like UNAIDS that combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. Worldwide about 40 million individuals are living with HIV and AIDS. Startling statistics indicate that around 6000 young women (that is, 860 each day) become tainted with HIV every week. According to UNAIDS, one in eight people living with HIV is denied health care because of the stigma associated with the virus. Access to health services is fundamental to prevent and treat HIV. But about one of every five individuals living with HIV detailed abstaining from getting medical help due to stigma and/or discrimination associated with being HIV infected individuals. Experts assert that “AIDS can be beaten, if we take on the social and economic injustices that perpetuate it and spur more scientific innovations to address the real needs of women and girls and people living with and vulnerable to HIV.”
Zero Discrimination Day is a suggestion to praise diversity and reject a wide range of discrimination. India is a nation that distinctively reflects the numerous exteriors of prejudices, establishing contrasts dependent on caste, gender identity, age, and disability. Individuals need to get educated about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, most importantly, a movement for change.
Diversity is a valuable resource and tolerating and grasping it carries more significant advantages to our society. Sadly, discrimination keeps on diminishing endeavours to accomplish a more equitable and equivalent world. Individuals face prejudice every day for what their identity is or what they do.
Discrimination will not vanish without effectively tending to ignorance, practices, and beliefs that fuel that. Zero Discrimination Day is a chance to feature how everybody can be a part of the change and move towards a more fair and just society. Numerous nations have laws against discrimination, yet it is an issue in all society layers in each country on the planet. Ironically, numerous nations have and still use discrimination as a method for governing.
Discrimination is collective stupidity with which most evolved species on the earth is suffering from.
Toons: Anusha and Reema Jaiswal
Logs: Sai Baba