It’s time to celebrate a very important day in South African history, Human Rights Day. Celebrated on March 21 every year, Human Rights Day reminds us about the struggles that South Africans have faced in order to get equal rights for all in our country and also to commemorate those who were effected by the Sharpeville massacre.
South Africans have had many struggles in the past. Racism, sexism, xenophobia and discrimination just to name a few. It was a hard fought battle to reach where we are now, a country filled with people who are all the same. We are all human and deserve to be treated the same way as the next person.
According to the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, “Human rights are rights that everyone should have simply because they are human.” It’s been 12 years since the South African Constitution came into effect and granted everyone equal rights. Human Rights Day should be the day that is used to reflect on all the progress that South Africa has made.
We are one of the only countries of with no laws prohibiting people from living their lives in terms of race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. We all have equality regardless of our race, we are free to follow and practise any religion we choose and we have the right to love anyone we want. That is something to be proud of. To go from a country dived to one that allows us to be who we choose to be.
Take this public holiday to think about the rights we have as South Africans but more importantly as humans. After all, it’s the one thing we all have in common. Unity in diversity is out motto and it rings true. We are diverse yes, but we are able to see past that. Happy Human Rights Day.