February 20 is World Day of Social Justice, a commemorative event that has been held since its first proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. The underlying principle is to promote gender equality and social justice for all as stated in Our Common Agenda.
Social justice is closely aligned with human rights and is about fairness – ensuring equality for all people.
The major social injustices affecting the world today:
- Racial Inequality: Systemic racism in societies around the world has resulted in significant inequalities: job opportunities, housing, healthcare, and legal representation are all affected.
- Gender Inequality: Discrimination based on gender affects education, jobs, and healthcare. Women and girls are also vulnerable to human trafficking and intimate partner violence.
- LGBT Inequality: The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities are uniquely vulnerable to violence and discrimination. Discrimination impacts legal protections, marriage equality, healthcare, and job opportunities.
- Economic Inequality: According to the World Bank, over 700 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. That’s the line for “extreme poverty”. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank estimates that between 40-60 million could slip below the poverty line.
- Unequal Access to Education: While education is the key to unlocking better job and income opportunities, accessing good education is very challenging for certain populations. In areas like south-eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, wide disparities still exist.
- Climate Injustice: Those who are disproportionately impacted by climate change are countries which have the lowest carbon-emission.
The theme of World Day of Social Justice 2022 is Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment, and it focuses on employment resources and opportunities as a prerequisite in reducing poverty and inequality.
At Dementia Alliance International #DAI, we observe World Day of Social Justice because social injustice is rampant when it comes to people living with dementia and their families. As a global organization, DAI has been raising its voice against social injustice and advocating #HumanRightsForAll and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities #CRPD.
There is a strong biased assumption that post diagnosis employment is not possible for people with cognitive impairments, even those of us with mild dementia. In the workplace, individuals are seen as incompetent workers and regarded as a liability rather than an asset to the organization.
One of the harmful myths of dementia, is an automatic assumption of incapacity which is made early and without any kind of evidence-based assessment of the person’s capacity, knowledge, and ability for continued employment in a specific role. As a result, it is not unusual for these individuals to be made redundant or dismissed for incompetence.
On contrary, there are many individuals and advocates living with dementia who have taken up voluntary or part-time work when provided with accessibility to resources and appropriate support. These examples clearly demonstrated that people living with dementia had the capacity to lead and perform, knowledge to share and ability to remain in the workforce for a duration of time after their diagnosis. DAI is a living proof of such example where people living with dementia lead and manage the organization on day-to-day basis and provide support services to their peers with support from few volunteers.
Continuing employment after post-diagnosis is essential and beneficial because the occupational role not only provide financial satisfaction but more importantly it helps to reduce the risk of depression, prevent loss of identity and self-worth, and loss of social networks. Hence, individuals living with mild dementia must be supported in the workplace through reasonable adjustments and accommodation while they adjust to their diagnosis and make plans to retire when they feel it is time to do so. Continued post-diagnostic employment can be realized when i) healthcare professionals stop ‘Prescribed Disengagement’; ii) employers see it is their responsibility to support workers diagnosed with cognitive impairments to remain in the workforce; and iii) the workplace has an inclusive culture that respects diverse range of ability.
You can read more about “Dementia and Employment: Give us a chance to remain employed” published on the DAI blog on February 13 2021.
REMINDERS OF UPCOMING EVENTS:
1. The 2022 DAI Global Rally Summit, Age With Rights! DAI is hosting a Live Facebook event as part of this rally, which you can join us here. Read more information about it on our blog here.
Registration is not required; simply join us on the DAI Facebook page for this live event at the times listed below.
Thursday, 3 Mar 2022
- 2:00 pm PST
- 3:00 pm MST
- 4:00 pm CST
- 5:00 pm EST
- 10:00 pm GMT
Friday, 4 Mar 2022
- 6:00 am SGT/AWST
- 8:00 am AEST
- 8:30 am ACDT
- 9:00 am AEDT
- 12:00 noon NZDT
2. The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons is also hosting a webinar on the 3rd March from 10:00-11:00 ET / 16:00-17:00 CET. There will be interpretation into Spanish, and is hosted by the IFA, and supported by the Soroptimist International. The Summit will showcase the campaigning that is taking place around the world for older people’s rights as part of the Age With Rights Global Rally ahead of the 12th UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing session. Click here to register. Click here to download the flyer.
3. Save the date for the next DAI “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar: My Life, My Goals: a self-help guide for people living with dementia, by Professor Linda Clare. Registration link and other details coming soon.
4. The 2022 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE region. The deadline for registrations is 18 March 2022, 23:59 (CET). Sessions opened for registration are:
- 6-7 April 2022: Hybrid plenary sessions of the Regional Forum.
- 6-7 April 2022: Hybrid peer learning sessions clustered around five SDGs: SDG 4 – Quality education, SDG 5 – Gender Equality, SDG 14 – Life below water, SDG 15 – Life on land, SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals.
SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA