Tolerance, love and acceptance are much needed by the world today. Looking around, we often see heinous acts of violence taking places due to differences among people. Days like Zero Discrimination Day make us realize the beauty of diversity. Through giving a voice to those who are suppressed and recognizing their human rights we become stronger together. We become better as a nation and as citizens of the world. Through creating opportunities for them we also ensure that we don’t miss out on the talent they have.
On March 5, 2017, Aye Myanmar Association organized A Zero Discrimination Day event through the help and support of UNAIDS. It was a day to celebrate diversity and raise awareness to eradicate discrimination from all settings such as the workplace, healthcare settings, schools and at home. Through this event, we tried to show that everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, gender, social class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and profession.
This year’s themes were; “Born this Way”, “Equal Rights, not Special Rights”, “Zero Discrimination” and “Hate is Easy, Love Takes Courage.”A lot of compelling songs were composed by invited bands to spread the message on zero discrimination.
Mr. Eamonn Murphy, country director of UNAIDS Myanmar, spoke about the fear, stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS at the event and how we can eradicate it. Fear comes from a lack of knowledge and ineffective communication about certain topics. It is important to celebrate days like this to make sure we are taking our steps towards a future that is void of all fear, stigma and discrimination.
It was encouraging to see a lot of passersby from all around the world in the park were curious about the event and wanted to learn more about it. People from China, Germany, UK and Australia stopped by to share their stories of stigma and discrimination from their lives. Those stories are evidence of how stigma is alive in the world today, and the frustration behind those stories voiced change. It is important for every individual to play a part in eradicating discrimination whether big or small, and AMA will continue its efforts to create a society free from stigma, discrimination and fear.