INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

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Racial discrimination divides and kills; it hinders peace and destabilises social unity within increasingly diverse societies. It can be brutal and wide-ranging, which sometimes is embodied in dissolute laws. It can also insidiously, silently, deprive people’s daily basic rights to employment, housing and a social life. We all have a role to play, each at our respective levels, in combating racism.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was established six years after an event, known as the Sharpeville tragedy or Sharpeville massacre, which captured worldwide attention. This event involved police opening fire and killing 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa on March 21, 1960.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS

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It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.

- Charles Spurgeon 

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

- Aristotle

What is happiness? Is it subjective or can we put an objective value on it? How can and should we pursue happiness? The word of happiness is used frequently in our lives, and most of us strive to be happy. However, defining happiness can be knotty as there are many diverse routes to happiness subjected to an individual priority of life.

The concept of happiness is indeed straightforward; it is a state of mind, pleasant emotion made of love, inner peace, joy, contentment and fulfilment. It is an art that can be cultivated by focusing and being grateful on small things in life which are often ignored, but carry a lot of meaning. We all do our utmost and spend our entire lives for achieving success, more money, better career and greater wealth in order to attain happiness. Oppositely, the truth happiness is derived from the contentment of what we have - health, relationships, peace of mind, gratitude, kindness, love, faith and so forth and being grateful of every opportunity given to strive for betterment. Happiness is, without a doubt, our choice.

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY

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Languages are powerful tools in protecting and developing our tangible and intangible legacy. It promotes the spreading of mother tongues that will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop full awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world in inspiring unity based on perceptive, charity and dialogue.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 with the aim of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was created by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in order to promote cultural traditions and instigate solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue. The date represents the incident that took place in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of their country’s two national languages, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now called Bangladesh.

WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

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Social justice, equality and equity constitute the fundamental values of all societies. To achieve a society for all, governments should make a commitment to the creation of a support for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels. The advancement of social justice is a part of the global mission to promote human dignity and development. Social justice means removing barriers amongst people all over the world created because of their age, gender, religion, ethnicity, race, or disability.

The promotion of gender equality or struggle for the rights of migrants and indigenous people are dazzling examples of the pursuit of social justice because all people should have equal opportunities irrespective of their gender or origin.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

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Health systems and health professionals are essential to the wellbeing of societies. They provide credible, scientific and unbiased information that can help people protect themselves from violations of their rights.

- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

About 120 to 140 million women have been subject to Female genital mutilation (FGM) and 3 million girls are at risk each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

FGM encompasses of all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in fatal bleeding or even death.

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is observed yearly on the 6th of February. It is an UN-sponsored awareness day served as an effort to make the world to be aware of female genital mutilation and to promote its eradication.