The 10th of December marks the Human Rights Day. On this day, we celebrate human rights in commemoration of the day when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Established in 1948, the date stands for a big step in ensuring all basic human rights to every individual around the globe, no matter their ethnicity, gender, country of origin age or creed. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a move from the United Nations member states to point out the most basic fundamental rights every person should have.
How to celebrate it?
You can celebrate this day in different ways: join campaigns, donate, raise awareness in your community. On this day, be aware of all the basic human rights you have such as freedom of speech, right to education, and healthcare, and keep in mind the people who, unfortunately, are still deprived of these rights.
Check the following campaigns to contribute and donate to:
Female activists we admire
On this day, we have decided to share with you stories of some inspiring women who have been bravely fighting for humans’ rights:
Malala was born in 1997 in Pakistan. Her father was a teacher and ran a school for girls in her village, and despite her being a girl, he wanted to give her every opportunity a boy would have. Malala went to school until 2008, when the Taliban took control over her village and banned many things like having a TV, listening to music, and also prevented girls from getting an education.
Malala spoke for the right of girls to education which the Taliban were vehemently opposed to. In 2012, the Taliban shot Malala in the head for fighting for her rights. She was on the bus going back home after she had done a school exam. After months of surgeries and rehabilitation, she was able to recover and now lives in the UK, studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in Oxford. In 2014, Malala was the youngest person ever to have received the Nobel Prize for Peace. Malala has created the Malala Fund, fighting for girls receiving an education. Check the Malala Fund here.
Humayra Abendin is a doctor from Bangladesh whose story became famous when her parents tried to force her into marriage and held her captive until she was freed by court order. Humayra’s family did not like the fact that she was in a long-term relationship with a Bangladeshi man she met in London. To bring her back home, they falsely claimed her mother was seriously ill to convince Humayra to come home and visit.
Once in Bangladesh, the family stole her passport, her return plane ticket and held her captive. They forced her to marry a man they had chosen for her and cut her communications with the outside world. Humayra luckily did succeed to send messages to her friends in the UK and inform them she was being held captive. A series of legal moves were made to release her and she was instructing her lawyers while still in captivity. Under the Forced Marriage Act, the High Court in London ordered her release and once back in the UK, she instructed the lawyers to annul the marriage. Humayra is a great source of hope to many women in forced marriages to speak out and seek help.
Nadia is a human rights activist from Iraq. In August 2014, while Nadia was a student, she was abducted by ISIS, forced to convert to Islam and sold into sexual slavery. She escaped after three months and was brave enough to share her story with the world. She demanded accountability for the crimes ISIS committed against her and other people from her village and was thus named a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism to ‘end sexual violence as a weapon of war’.
Carmen is a global advocate for access to reproductive health care and she has dedicated her life to promoting women’s rights to access health care.
As the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, she has fought for the rights of women getting health care on the global scene and is striving to make a change every day. When asked for advice to women activists around the world, this is what she said:
These are four powerful women of different age and background, who show us that each of us is able to make a change in the community and fight for basic human rights we all deserve. Find other inspirational stories from women around the world here:
Statistics you should know about:
We hope these inspirational figures and statistics have inspired and encouraged you to seek change. Be aware that you have the freedom to voice your opinion, so make sure to use your speech to fight not only for your community but for everyone who does not share the privileges you do.
The Fashion Potluck Team