International Women’s Day is a call to recognise inequality

Kennedy Graham, MP on March 8, 2015

I began working with a new Assistant this term, Keli Yen, and today we felt it’s important to share how International Women’s Day inspires us to reflect on human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a remarkable achievement by humanity establishing a planetary consensus that all humans are inherently free and equally valuable.  

Putting human rights into practice in our societies, and in our own mentalities, is the journey of our lifetime.  Genuine progress is not greater GDP, it is putting the meaning of human rights into practice and reconciling the human injustice of inequality.

As a Member of Parliament human rights is the fundamental lens through which I make decisions.  And it is the deepest responsibility I hold for New Zealand, for our global family and for future generations.  

International Women’s Day is a call for action to us all.  Starting simply, perhaps, by asking oneself “what is my personal relationship with inequality?  Where do I experience it?  Why do I care, or not?  What can I do?”  These are sincere questions.

Resolving inequality means seeing how it exists throughout our society and in our own life; and asking, “where can I make a change?”  From as subtle as the way I perceive a person to “how can I make a bigger impact?”

The priorities identified by the Beijing Platform for Action are, for every country and for every gender, an integral part of our own progress.  We believe a sign of progress is a more empathic society, especially towards the more vulnerable.  That’s why I chose to enter politics, to develop public policy that takes care of all people and the planet we share.

Today on International Women’s Day, let’s reflect on the current reality of our societies, be inspired and put human rights into practice everywhere we can.

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