Blog Action Day: A focus on human rights
I know it’s been all over the news. Played over and over again. But still, the message is so powerful that I am compelled to bring it up again here. In a recent interview with Jon Stewart, this amazing angel-on-earth, wise-beyond-her-years, and extremely brave young woman, Malala Yousafzi said, “I need to be fully empowered… and to make myself powerful, I only need one thing, that is education.”
Shouldn’t every human being have the right to an education? In my mind, the answer is clear and unshakeable but unfortunately, in many parts of the world there is debate about this and education is in fact withheld from millions, especially girls.
From an article I wrote for Eco Fashion World in 2010 titled, The Power of a Girl’s Education –
According to studies by The World Bank discussed on Global Issues:
*Almost half the world (over 3 billion people) lives on less than $2.50 a day.
*At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
*The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
*1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
*Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
*Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
*Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.
Studies show that providing education for young women in the developing world is key in societal progress with a reduction in fertility rates, a decrease in infant and child mortality rates, protection against diseases, more women in the labor force, educated women encouraging their children to pursue an education, a decline in youth violence, a decline in domestic abuse and a decline in human trafficking. With results like that, why wouldn’t everyone in the world, who has the means to invest in any small way, invest in education?
The green movement is about more than just using sustainable materials and developing innovative ways to live without damaging the environment. It is about creating a better world, especially for the large part of the global population who struggle daily to survive.
Human rights to education, a fair working wage, fair treatment, safe living and working conditions, clean water, healthy meals, medical care – staple things necessary for a healthy life – these are the focus for Blog Action Day and every day. To stop tragedies like the shooting of Malala for speaking out in support of human rights to an education. To stop tragedies like the factory fires in Bangladesh.
After all, we are all intrinsically connected, our lives and actions interwoven to create the fabric of all life.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “No one is free, until everyone is free!”