The global community will Sunday observe the 2020 Zero Discrimination Day under the theme: “Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls”. This year’s event focuses on promoting everyone’s right to live a dignified life regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin color and beliefs.
Celebrated every March 1st, the day aims to combat all forms of discrimination through celebration of individuality, inclusion and human rights while also promoting tolerance, compassion and peace. The campaign is at the centre of the work of UNAIDS which fights for a fair and equal treatment of patients suffering from HIV and AIDS.
The UN defines discrimination as the selective practice of unfairly treating a person or a group of people differently than others due to factors such as religion, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability amongst others. Despite laws and education, discrimination continues to be a wide-spread problem throughout the world which undermine efforts to achieve a more just and equitable world, causing pain and suffering for many.
In her message for the day, Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS said AIDS could only be beaten by tackling the social and economic injustices that perpetuate it as well as spurring more scientific innovations to address the real needs of women, girls and people living with and vulnerable to HIV.
“Worldwide, AIDS remains the biggest killer of women aged 15–49 years. To end AIDS by 2030, we must end gender-based violence, inequality and insecurity and we must ensure that women and girls have equal access to education, health and employment,” Byanyima said.
The Zero Discrimination Day seeks to end racism, discrimination at work, discrimination at school, and other activities that reduce women’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in society. Around the world, the campaign has garnered the support of many celebrities and prominent figures who want a world free of stigma and discrimination.
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