In recent years, the term “social justice” has become just as prominent as “human rights.” What is social justice exactly? It’s essentially a concept of fairness within a society. That applies to fairness in wealth, opportunities, basic needs, and more. It’s expanded over the decades, and now you’ll hear the term in discussions about gender, race, and the environment. We have compiled 10 reasons why everyone should care about social justice:
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It ensures that everyone gets the essentials for a good life
When it comes to what is fair, everyone is owed basic things. Access to food, shelter, and clean water are the big three. In certain societies, these are often taken for granted among the majority of the population, but there are always gaps. Think of Flint, Michigan, where clean water not poisoned by lead is not a given. Food deserts exist all over America, while the homeless crisis has reached a critical point in states like Oregon and Washington. Social justice extends to other countries, as well, where basic needs are just as needed, but not supplied. By speaking up in support of essentials, people are working for social justice.
It ensures everyone gets adequate healthcare
The importance of good health can’t be overstated. It’s a matter of life and death. A society’s healthcare system determines who gets what services, and how much they have to sacrifice to get the care they need. When people strive for social justice in healthcare, they are working for better and more affordable insurance plans, access to medication, and more.
It protects people with disabilities
Disability rights have been ignored and neglected for many years, but with social justice on the rise, people are finally getting a voice. Those with both visible and invisible disabilities (like mental illness) are often discriminated against in their workplace, in healthcare, and more. For social justice to truly be justice for all, disability rights need to be included.
It protects people from religion-based discrimination
A person’s religion is a central part of them, and freedom from religious discrimination falls right into the lap of social justice. Many countries have laws that discourage religious freedom, while others fail to enforce protections. Social justice advocates want all religions to be free and safe, including a person’s right to not follow any religion.
It protects people from ageism
As people get older, they are often discriminated against simply because of their age. They might get fired from their job in favor of someone younger, or get treated with disrespect in their daily lives. Ageism, as a form of discrimination, falls under the scope of social justice.
It protects people from sexuality-based discrimination
Members of the LGBTQIA community are frequently targeted for discrimination in every area of their daily lives. A huge part of social justice focuses on addressing this, because it costs people their ability to work, love, and even live, in many tragic cases. For a society to be considered “just,” it must treat LGBTQIA people with fairness.
It defends people from racism
Discrimination based on race is another huge issue in most societies. It can make it hard for people to find work, live in peace, marry who they want, and more. A major trait of social justice is that people of every race can live well and have equal opportunities.
It helps promote equality between genders
It seems like discrimination based on gender is one of the oldest forms of injustice around the world. Women and girls are the most oppressed group in history, and it gets worse for them if they are also members of another oppressed population, like a certain race or religion. Social justice strives to bridge the gap and empower women no matter where they are.
It helps promote economic equality
The gap between the rich and the poor seems like it’s always expanding. The fact that some people struggle to buy enough food for their children while others get millions of dollars in a severance package is simply not fair. Equality doesn’t mean that everyone is rich, but it should mean that everyone is able to meet their basic needs and live without being afraid that one setback could put them on the streets. Social justice is about securing everyone’s economic stability.
It helps improve educational opportunities for kids
A good education is crucial to ending cycles of poverty and giving everyone the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. However, countless people are unable to get an adequate education simply because of where they live or because they’re facing other discrimination. Social justice wants everyone to be able to learn in a safe place that’s encouraging and that provides equal opportunities. All of society benefits when children get educated.