Nations celebrate world day of social justice


Designed by Amelia Shives

The World Day of Social Justice celebrates overcoming barriers and unleashing opportunities for social justice.

Amelia Shives, Writer

Starting in 2009, the World Summit for Social Development has aimed to develop social justice and equality between countries. The United Nations have pledged to promote equal distribution of income and resources for everyone while also believing everyone deserves fundamental rights. This year, the World Day of Social Justice’s theme is “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.” The World Day of Social Justice will be celebrated on Feb. 20, 2023.

Millions of people around the world celebrate World Day of Social Justice. The South African Government said, “The purpose of the day is to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions.” This day is to recognize issues of poverty, exclusion, employment, gender equity, holding people accountable for their actions including sexual assault, and access to social well-being and justice for all.

The South African Government lays out their laws for equality clearly. On the Parliamentary Monitoring Group they say, “Everyone is equal before the law and has the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law.” and they want everyone to have the same rights and freedoms no matter what their gender is. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is responsible for promoting all human rights in South Africa. They do this by raising public awareness, public training, and through special projects. South Africa also has something called CGE also known as The Commission for Gender Equality, where they monitorer gender equality and women’s rights. 

The Bonyan Organization talks about why it is important to celebrate the World Day of Social Justice. The national day brings awareness to social injustices, brings together deserving communities around the world, helps eliminate discrimination against race, religion and gender. The main idea of social justice is that everyone deserves equal economic, social, political rights and opportunities. 

Some great ways to celebrate or stay up to date with World Day of Social Justice is by reading books like “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani education activist, or “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement” by Angela Davis, an American political activist. Both of these books focus on struggles of freedom and people who are looking to make a change in society. 

Riddhi Bhakta is a senior at the OHS, when discussing Malala’s story she said, “She makes me be more active about social justice and encourages me to take action for my rights.” 

Bhakta is involved with Girls United. 

“We talk about how socially different the expectations for women are significantly different than men. One day we also talked about how period products need to be more accessible for women, like in schools pads and tampons should be put into bathrooms and that they need to be more accessible cost wise, because sustainable options are often quite expensive,” said Bhakta.

 Overall, she believes that the topic of social justice needs to be talked more about during schools so we can educate everyone. 

Another great way to educate oneself on World day of Social Justice is watching movies or tv shows. “He Named Me Malala” directed by Davis Guggenheim, for example, continues to educate people on Malala’s story. “When They See Us” is a show on Netflix that focuses on how five people were accused of assaulting someone although they knew they were innocent. 

When people think of Social Justice leaders, people think of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr., but there are many people today still fighting for social justice. Esmeralda Simmons has been engaged with social justice for three decades and is a civil rights lawyer and is a voice for people who face voter discrimination and suppression.

Erika Andiola is one of the most promoted immigration rights activists. Byrnes and Harrington for  USA Today said, “Andiola co-founded the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and is now the Chief Advocacy Officer for RAICES, which defends the rights of immigrants and refugees.” They continue to list people who are powerful activists who want to make a change. 

Mr. Woitalla is a history teacher at the OHS.

He says, “Part of the reason I love teaching social studies is because we get to tackle these social conflicts and what it takes to solve world problems is education. Where do problems stem from and how do we solve them?” 

Mr. Woitalla wants OHS to offer more on what has happened in the past so the future can improve.

The World Day of Social Justice on Feb. 20, 2023, will be celebrated all around the world. It encourages people to recognize social injustices and stand up for equal rights for everyone.