social justice issues—social movements, policy, power, and social

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The terms social justice, social movements, and social change are aligned in many ways. Social justice issues cause imbalances in equality, privilege, and opportunity. Social movements often arise in response to social justice issues and can galvanize people to engage in social change efforts, both informally through activism and formally through the enactment of laws and policies.

Last week, you examined the influence of a historical social justice issue on the way that a contemporary social justice issue is perceived and addressed. For this Discussion, you will take a closer look at how a contemporary social justice issue is addressed, both informally through activist movements and formally through policies and laws. You will also consider the power differentials related to this issue and what you can do to make a difference in how it is addressed. 

To Prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources on social justice issues. Select one to focus on for this Discussion. You may choose the issue that you focused on last week or a different one.
  • Use the Learning Resources and any additional resources that you found from your own research to determine how the issue has been addressed thus far (e.g., rallies, protests, policies, and laws), how the public perceives the issue, how power differentials affect the issue, and how to promote social change to address the issue. 

Post a brief description of a contemporary social justice issue in which you are interested. This can be the same issue that you discussed last week or a different one. With this issue in mind, respond to the following questions:

  • Have there been large rallies and or protests related to the social justice issue? If so, have the rallies or protests made a difference in addressing or furthering the issue? Why or why not?
  • How have policy, laws, and public views about the issue changed over time?
  • Who holds the power on the issue and who lacks the power? What are the implications?
  • If you could promote social change in relation to the issue, what would the outcome look like?

4

Discrimination and gender inequality

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Discrimination and gender inequality

Social justice refers to the idea that all human beings should be equal and treated with the same responsibilities and rights. The assertion aims to eliminate discrimination and to show that no human being is valuable than others (Barzilay, 2018). The concept has its roots in the nineteenth century, and there have been movements to ensure no discrimination in societies. However, different issues arise and affect people in terms of accessing opportunities, services, and goods. These issues are diverse and wide-ranging, and an example is gender inequality among women.

Description

Each time, across the world, women are affected by inequality and discrimination. They face unequal treatment, abuse at work and the workplace, and violence in the community. In some instances, they are denied opportunities to lead, earn equal salaries as men, or learn (Capeheartn & Milovanovic, 2020). This has led to most of them living in poverty due to scarcity of resources, less influence, and less power. They all tend to face inequalities depending on their ethnicity, age, religious beliefs, class, and any other fundamentalism. The issue has been the key poverty driver and a tool for denying rights to women.

Related historical social justice issue

The social justice issue that led to the birth of gender inequality is discrimination. In ancient times, people were discriminated against based on their race and were treated unequally. After enslaving both men and women especially the African Americans, men were favored while women were used as sex objects (Barzilay, 2018). Also, the idea of taking care of homes while men were busy working for basic needs gave rise, and later the gender inequality issue broadened.

Although a little progress towards ending the issue has been done, there is a long way to go. It would be healthy if national reforms in every country are enacted to ensure the improved status of women in any workplace. Increasing pay to women would be better, and provide them with access to financial institutions.

References

Barzilay, A. R. (2018). Discrimination without Discriminating: Learned Gender Inequality in the Labor Market and Gig Economy. Cornell JL & Pub. Poly, 28, 545. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/cjlpp28&div=23&id=&page=

Capeheart, L., & Milovanovic, D. (2020). Social justice. Rutgers University Press. https://doi.org/10.36019/9781978806894

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