“Because it’s 2015.”
These were the words of Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, when asked why he created his Cabinet with an equal number of men and women. Not only does the new Cabinet have complete gender equity, but it also includes representation from minorities and underrepresented groups within the country.
Achieving a gender-balanced cabinet is a big deal for Canada, and “because it’s 2015,” perfectly sums up the reason why it is so important. The simplicity of Trudeau’s answer resonated with me, and it got me thinking about what other things need to happen in the world so that we can feel good about our progress in 2015.
Because it’s 2015, we need to abolish inequalities. Having a balanced cabinet is a start for Canada in terms of gender equality, but what about the rest of the world (and the rest of the world’s organizations)?
Furthermore, gender equality isn’t the only kind of inequality that exists. There are inequalities between various social classes, between people with different abilities and sexual orientations, and between people of different races, cultures, and religions.
Because it’s 2015, everyone in the world should have basic human necessities (essentially, the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs: food, water, shelter, clothing). The reason some people still don’t have access to these things goes back to the inequities that exist in our world.
Not only should everyone have basic human needs, but, because it is 2015, everyone in the world should have basic human rights. These include (but are not limited to) the right to be innocent until proven guilty, the right to seek a safe place to live, freedom of thought and expression, the right to democracy, and the right to a free and fair world.
Some people are privileged to have all of these rights – and those of us who are privileged need to speak up for those who are not. It is ridiculous – and quite frankly, frightening – that it is 2015 and millions of people do not have their basic needs met or have basic human rights. We pride ourselves on having an advanced world; and maybe in terms of technology, we do. But in terms of the actual people (and animals) who inhabit this world (not to mention the state of the world’s environment), we have some work to do.
The good news is that because it is 2015, it is possible for us to fix these issues. We can use the Internet to advocate for causes we believe in, we can donate to charities, and we can volunteer in our local (and global) communities. By doing these things, we can create a fair society void of inequities and we can ensure that everyone has access to basic human necessities and rights.
The year being 2015 shouldn’t be the only reason that we make these long overdue changes; we should make them because they are, at least to me, the right thing to do. However, if it being 2015 can act as a catalyst for change – and a viral slogan for equality – then I think it’s something we should all get on board with.