I’ve never really known where my sense of justice comes from, I’ve just always had the urge to make the world a fairer place – in every aspect. It’s just always been obvious to me that there are values that we should live by – that we all matter as much as each other, no matter who we are.
I’m a primary school teacher, and I’ve given a lot of thought to how I can teach those values – and questioned how I learnt them myself. About a year ago I asked my mum how she taught me not to be discriminatory, and to value diversity. She said that as a family, we always engaged with people from different cultural backgrounds, and just never treated them any differently. So I guess that’s the answer – we have so many of our attitudes and ideas simply because we’ve been exposed to them and we think they’re normal.
And that’s what I have become really passionate about and want to be as active as I can in: making diversity and inclusiveness normal for everyone – and exposing as many people as possible to those values so that they can choose to take them up in their lives.
As a woman, particularly as I get older, I’ve felt more strongly about women’s rights. I guess that’s because the more I’m exposed to injustice and witness discrimination in the world and in my everyday life, the more strongly I feel about doing whatever I can to make sure that women everywhere are respected and don’t have to deal with oppression and abuse.
Through my involvement with ActionAid I’ve learnt that the issues we face here are issues women face all over the world – and much, much more so sometimes, when women are living in poverty. The more I learn about the rights of women internationally, the stronger I feel. I want to take action for women everywhere, and I’m the process of working out the best way that I can do it. I’m committed to campaigning with ActionAid in 2017, because I want to work with others who are committed to the same principles and objectives as me: to make sure women everywhere have rights.
I think the easiest way that people can create change is to talk to each other – because the more you learn about others’ experiences and points of view, the more passionate you become. Something I really want to do more of is talk to people who may not share my viewpoint– and may sit on the fence somewhat, when it comes to issues of women’s rights. I want to speak out, and to do what I can to change people’s minds, and help them understand why women’s rights are important. I’m looking forward to working with others in 2017 to establish the best way of doing that.
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