1st March is celebrated as Zero Discrimination Day all around the world to promote diversity and recognize that everyone counts. Butterfly has been accepted as the symbol for this day. It is celebrated by the United Nations and other international organizations with an aim to recognize and celebrate everyone’s right to live a life with full dignity regardless of any barrier such as age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, profession, education, and beliefs.
History of Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, and launched on February 27 of that year with a major event in Beijing by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe. The day has been utilised since then to spread awareness about AIDS, end discrimination against patients suffering from it and help them in getting appropriate healthcare. It seeks to support the goals of individual countries for fighting against AIDS.
Zero Discrimination Day 2020
The theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2020, is about challenging the discrimination faced by women and girls in all their diversity in order to raise awareness and mobilize action to promote equality and empowerment for women and girls.
Zero Discrimination Day in India
Zero Discrimination Day is observed in India in form of activism for eradicating discrimination against sexual orientation, gender, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, occupation, and education. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in the country joins the campaign every year to create awareness on discrimination and relevant policies that will help reduce stigma.
The purpose of Zero Discrimination Day is to celebrate individuality, inclusiveness and human rights while promoting tolerance, compassion, and peace. In this context, discrimination refers to the selective practice of treating a person or group of people unfairly as compared to others on the basis of factors such as religion, gender, race, sexuality, age, and disability among others.
Why Do We Need This Day
Diversity is a precious resource and accepting and embracing it brings greater benefits to our society. No one should be discriminated against for HIV status, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, language, geographic location or migrant status, or any other reason. Unfortunately, however, discrimination continues to reduce efforts to achieve a more equitable and equal world. People face discrimination every day for who they are or what they do. By promoting Zero Discrimination Day, people are encouraged to increase and embrace diversity and recognize communities that enrich and strengthen the diverse talents and competencies of the people.