So, today is the day, where bloggers around the world will be writing about human rights. A global conversation. It’s all the brain child of Amnesty International, a really great charity dedicated to shining a light on human rights atrocities, and helping those without a voice to be heard.
I mentioned this the other day, but I hate injustice. I hate it when women go through all sorts of terrible abuse, but their perpetrators walk free whilst they suffer with the trauma for the rest of their lives. I hate it that young children are denied the right to education, instead they are forced into work, service in terrorism or into underage marriage. There are 30 rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, set up after World War Two by the United Nations so that people had rights, and that those rights could be put into international law. Despite this, though, terrorists, governments and leaders deny people their basic rights on a daily basis.
For example, freedom of speech is severely disabled in China, because of the fact that the government there doesn’t allow its people to access to webpages where they can discover another opinion to that of the government. The right to a family is also restricted in China, due to their one child policy.
Russia is really in the media for human rights abuses at the moment, You only have to look at their anti-gay laws dealing with education for young people about homosexuality and sexual health in relation to this. Another example is Pussy Riot. When some of its members performed a punk prayer in a church (OK, it’s a really significant church), praying for the Virgin to become a feminist, and to take Putin out of power, they were arrested and sentenced to three years in a labor camp on the grounds of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred.
And you only need to look at Malala and her campaign for the right of all children, regardless of gender, race, religion or creed to see that the battle for human rights still hasn’t been won. She was shot in the head for speaking out for those who couldn’t speak, and now she is living in exile, until it is safe for her to return. Despite this, she has kept her light shining bright, shining this light over those young women in Swat Valley, those children across the world who haven’t the chance for an education. And she is still speaking out.
I’m nowhere near as brave as she’ll ever be. I’m lucky to live in a place where women have the same rights as men to an education, right up to PhD level. However, I know that as a disabled woman, I still have rights to argue for, like the right to be able to have children without social services thinking me incapable to be a parent because of my disability. But everyone still does.
A young man shouldn’t have to be forced to exert his masculinity by acting ‘like one of the lads’ if he doesn’t want to. He has the right not to be judged for the choices that he makes, not to be stereotyped because of the culture surrounding him. A child has the right to choose the toys they play with, without being told it’s only for girls/boys. A girl has the right to make her own choices about the clothes she wears or whether she wears makeup/shaves her legs, and has the right to be respected for that choice.
All rights are Human Rights.
It’s about time we stop ignoring that.