Inequality is a side-effect of having a diverse, multicultural society, which originates in the minds of those prone to prejudice. Inequality is the absence or compromise of equal rights and treatment for all, without any discrimination. Inequality is the paradox of equality. It is an injustice inflicted upon human beings who are all, in deserving of rights, equal.
During my GCSE year at my school I studied George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ for English Literature; in that book I first discovered the quote that would inspire me to challenge society’s perception on equality, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ Why are some animals more equal than others? Who is responsible for designating equality? Is it equality if it has been designated? Of course, Orwell uses the quote to mock the supposed equality of our world, and contradicts himself only to highlight the discrimination and injustice that most of the characters in the novel, did not even notice. The thing about inequality is if we do not think about it, if we do not act against it, it will go unnoticed.
Let us jump out of the world of Literature now and into reality, inequality in real life, everyday situations. I see inequality in Russia, where an LGBT is subject to humiliation, torture, and death, simply because they are who they are. I see inequality on social media, where people are subject to bullying if they are not the ‘societal norm’. I see inequality in my own nation, where the exploitation of people for slave labour or sexual exploitation in human trafficking is rife and persistent. I see inequality when a woman cannot attend a Volleyball match because she is a woman. I see inequality when a woman is facing the death penalty because she married a Christian man. I see inequality when instead of condemning rape, we blame the victims. But seeing is not enough, I do what I can and urge others to see as well. A signature on an email from one person is inspiring, from thousands is powerful, and from tens of thousands is extraordinary. Every petition you sign against inequality is a movement towards equality; and the world cannot thank you enough.
I would like to consider myself an everyday activist for equality. One way in which we can eradicate inequality from society forever is by promoting equal rights and treatment for all citizens. What does it mean to be equal? It is not to be the same; we are all different for a reason. To be equal means to be accepted for your similarities and differences, not to be a subject of discrimination, and to have equal rights as promised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As an everyday activist for equality, I believe that we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights, and I believe no-one has the power to remove that right. I believe that we have a responsibility to stand up for those who are not treated equally, even if we are subject to discrimination ourselves. I am fortunate that in my school I am not discriminated against for being a girl; I have been given equal opportunity from my teachers, and I can apply to university just like anyone else. But for so many girls, education is merely an unreachable dream. In Somalia, 95% of girls aged 7-16 have never been to school, with the average years of education of the poorest 17-22 year olds being 0.3. This is gender inequality, and this is not okay.
I am only eighteen, and I am not a world leader, but I have hope that we can fight against inequality. Although I am young and may not be listened to, I believe that I can do something. We can all do something. Stand up for the minority, be your proud self, be vocal about challenging inequality. Be the everyday activist. As Polonius once said, ‘this above all: to thine own self be true.’ Do not let yourself be a victim of discrimination, advocate for equality. To all the other eighteen year olds who don’t exactly know what to do to change the world, do not lose hope, it will never fail us.