Diversity and Equality – can you be the change?
12th March 2019
Feminism. Equality. Human rights, social justice and humanitarianism. These are words that often don’t first spring to mind when people think of ‘sustainability’, but for a future local and global community that’ll last and prosper, these issues are all part of what we support here at Live Smart.
It doesn’t take long on Google to read about the injustices in this world, and sometimes they’re all problems so large, that all anyone can do is sigh at the state we’re in. How do you move a mountain?
One stone at a time.
This week’s post is about some of the Global Goals regarding Equality and Diversity that are close enough to home for you to personally chip away at with a little perspective change. Consider it food for thought.
“That’s not very ladylike”
I hear, from an adult, as the young girl I’m babysitting is loudly giggling and blowing raspberries. It’s not a rare phrase, nor an offensive one, and it’s when she stops playing, and sits down, because having fun ‘isn’t very ladylike’- that it becomes a problem. That’s just one of the first of many messages women face in their lives.
The Global Goals website wants to “end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.” Yeah, it’s a tall order. It’s in tiny moments like these, though, that I realise that you can make your own small adjustments in day to day life- we’ve all seen the Gillette advert. And if you haven’t you definitely should. Check out Nike while you’re at it for double the feels.
It’s up to you to be the change you want to see. Small contributions like sharing a post that promotes equality, questioning gender stereotypes, or having the courage to say “don’t do that” when someone crosses a line, are all the first step of the marathon for gender equality. Everybody wants to change the world, do the difficult thing and change yourself.
Understand other people’s experiences
I spoke to a friend the other day. And I encourage you to do the same, because when I asked a simple, “How are you so energetic?” she responded, “I don’t have a choice”.
Growing up in Portugal, and only on her 7th year in the UK, she told me she doesn’t have the option to be lazy. She’d love nothing more than curl up in front of Netflix like all the other students and spend her days sleeping, but she doesn’t have the luxury. As a black woman, she told me, she has to be the best just to have a chance- she needs pristine, impressive social media, and a portfolio full of achievements, just to get her foot in the door.
By 2030, Global Goals hopes to “empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all”. That has to start with conversations like these. What do you know about your friends with a different background or beliefs? Or with a disability? Take the time out of your day to sit with them, or the internet, and educate yourself for a world that understands each other to celebrate our differences.
Use what you’ve got
“Enhance the use of information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women”. Another Global Goal that can start right here, in your hands.
“I don’t even watch TV”, I say proudly, despite knowing full well that I spend 4 hours a day on Instagram. We live in a country and a generation that thrives online. The fact you’re reading this proves you have all the necessary skills to put your voice out there, or amplify the voice of others. You don’t have to rally in the streets to support your cause, but consider making use of the world at your fingertips to dig up the issues you’re passionate about. Without even leaving your bed.
If thinking like this is something you can get behind, take a page from the United Nations “Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” for more effortless sustainable living.
That’s all for now
As always, thanks for reading, and until next time!
Dan from Live Smart