UNAIDs Zero Discrimination Day – Save Lives: Decriminalise

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By Becky Alexander O.

Each year on March 1st, through Zero Discrimination Day, the United Nations raises awareness about the right of everyone to live their life with dignity and respect, living a full and profitable life. The day highlights inclusion and compassion and is becoming a movement for change to end all shapes of discrimination.

Discrimination can be seen as the unjustifiable or biased treatment of distinctive categories of people, particularly on the grounds of ethnicity, age, sexuality, gender, or disability. Due to the fact that it is human nature to categorise people, we still face the issue of discrimination to this day. In most cases, discrimination may be acquired behaviour. Discrimination, moreover, happens when there is a lack of understanding and communication. This year, the United Nations Zero Discrimination Day theme is Save Lives: Decriminalise. The Amazons Watch Magazine joins the United  UNAIDS as it advocates for Zero Discrimination and encourages individuals and organisations to work toward eliminating it. No one should experience discrimination due to a disability, religious orientation, gender, race or health condition. Unfortunately, in many areas worldwide, laws and practices discriminate and unfairly punish people living with HIV because of their HIV-positive status.

In some cases, people living with HIV are stigmatised in offices and relationships. The UNAIDS reports that in 2020, 92 countries had laws that criminalised HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission. Laws and policies should protect women and girls. However, many exist that punish, stigmatise and discriminate against women living with HIV, creating a significant barrier to women accessing both harm-reduction and HIV-related services. 

These laws were based on myths and misconceptions, creating fear and stigmatisation when applied. In other words, it does more harm than good it claims to do. There has never been evidence that the laws served their purpose of protecting any community. Despite the tools we now have to make the lives of people living with HIV easier, the laws are still active and spreading even more discrimination.

Today, Amazons Watch Magazine, with a media philosophy that is rooted in the preservation of the pride and dignity of women through an objective reportage on gender inequalities and social injustices experienced by women, join the UNAIDs Zero Discrimination Day with the theme Save Lives: Decriminalise to raise awareness about discrimination as we work toward Zero Discrimination across the globe.

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