Advancing the case for a socially just world | World Social Justice Day
February 20 marks the annual observation of World Social Justice Day. Social justice has been described as justice in relation to the equal and fair allocation of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Social justice ensures that adequate rights and responsibilities are allocated to institutions of society. This in turn enables people to receive the basic benefits such as education, health care, social protection and other public services to ensure fair distribution of wealth and access to opportunities.
The United Nations’ document Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations released in 2006 states that “Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth.”
The same document reports, “From the comprehensive global perspective shaped by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, neglect of the pursuit of social justice in all its dimensions translates into de facto acceptance of a future marred by violence, repression and chaos.”
ACORD’s mission is to work in common cause with people who are poor and those who have been denied their rights to obtain social justice. Among the areas that ACORD is working is in supporting and mobilising networks and movements in Africa to take action and find solutions to hunger through a food sovereignty approach.
If all the food produced in the world were shared equally we would have enough to feed almost double the world’s current population. Yet one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa never have enough food to eat: that is 265 million people. These are people living with constant hunger not as a result of war or natural disaster, but just because of the way our societies and our global food system are structured.
Food is a basic human right. Everybody deserves to have enough food to live a full and healthy life in dignity.
Hunger like apartheid and slavery is largely man-made and can therefore be prevented. If we join together we could change our food systems and the inequalities in our societies that lead to some having more food than they need while others starve.
Find out more about what ACORD is doing in advocating on trade and agricultural policies.
ACORD's work on women’s access to land
Raising awareness and understanding of women’s rights is crucial. ACORD has selected different approaches to be most effective in different situations. One has been to encourage registration of land titles jointly in the names of both the wife and the husband.
Another has been to support women who are the heads of their households, often widows, to register the land in their own name. In some places the introduction of formal property rights can make a break from the status quo and improve women's rights; in others, formal laws on land are just ignored in practice, and it is more meaningful to work within the informal systems of ownership that are in place, which are often communal.
Read more about ACORD’s work on gender and land rights.