The Hague, 9th June 2020
Black Lives Matter: Solidarity for Social Justice
Equality and Acceptance: two pillars of society that are necessary for a democratic country to truly be free. Free from violence, free from discrimination, free from suffering. After decades of dissent and social upset, what started as a small group of protesters has become a global phenomenon. The passing of George Floyd in Minneapolis ignited an unprecedented number of protests both in the US and the world, from Paris to Amsterdam, Barcelona to Berlin, Melbourne to Tokyo.
As such, the United States has been a catalyst for a global grassroots movement addressing institutional and systemic racism, the undermining of basic human rights, and societies duty to stand up for diversity, inclusion, unity, equality and justice.
Gender Concerns has always made it a mission to achieve social justice for all people, in all places. Director Sabra Bano has conveyed her “admiration and support for the protestors, the movement, and the changes it will bring”, as well as expressing “solidarity and empathy for the pain and anger being felt by the impacted communities, individuals, and victims of systematically discriminatory regimes”.
The issue was further addressed by Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, who spoke out against the systemic racism in the Netherlands pointing out that “many people forget that we may not have the same history as the USA, yet we do have a history of colonization”. Citing her own family experience, she recalled the everyday struggle that those with ‘darker skin’ face, highlighting that “it has been creeping into the system. From the tax authorities to the labor market and employment agencies, racism is still part of these agencies and bureaucracies.”
In symmetry with US citizens, many Dutch took to the streets reminding nations and persons alike that the core value of free nations is the unwavering belief that everyone is born free and equal with dignity and rights. An ironic parallel to a notion first codified in the Declaration of Independence and taken up by many other sovereign governments, including the Netherlands, it is a fundamental building block of society that those in which we trust to lead and protect us have a responsibility to uphold these values, and hold the perpetuators responsible for their violation – whoever they may be.
Gender Concerns International stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Minister Kaag, and all other organizations and individuals who support and take part in the fight against systemic discrimination everywhere. As a women’s development organization, Gender Concerns recognizes the importance of defending ideals and working towards a peaceful equal-opportunity world while denouncing all forms of discrimination and inequality, and will continue its own fight for social justice.
This is the first step in building a society that is free of violence, hate, discrimination, and exclusion. It constitutes our opportunity to create an equal and just world in which everyone can live without fear of being discriminated against. This is the time to advocate in favor of human rights. This is the time to put an end to discrimination in all of its forms.
For further information please contact:
Gender Equality Partnership Programme
Gender Concerns International
Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands
P: +31 (0) 74445082 W: www.genderconcerns.org
Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague and offices in several focus countries. It specializes working in the area of Women, Peace and Security, Climate Change and Election Observation from Gender Perspective.