Sometimes, providing food is not enough to fight hunger, nor does cash assistance instantly pull a family out of poverty.
Food insecurity and poverty are both found to lead to social injustice, eroding or nullifying basic human rights such as the right to food, health, housing, education, safe water, and others.
Social Injustice Definition
Social injustice pertains to wrongful actions against people in a society. It takes place when the unequal are treated equally but equals are treated unequally. Discrimination, ageism, and homophobia are some of the three common examples of social injustice.
If the world was perfect, all people of different races, origins, religions, and genders would be treated similarly in every aspect and area of life, which include, but are not limited to, education, work, healthcare, education, and others. This is why, back in the day, there have been some great movements and efforts to improve conditions for women, the LGBTQ+ community, and African Americans.
Causes of Social Injustice
Different social issues and concerns can take place at different times. Certain issues are also more relevant in specific neighborhoods, cultures, cities, countries, and societies. These social concerns may also impact people’s access to different types of goods, services, and opportunities.
Social injustice can result in wide-ranging and diverse social issues. Here are some of the biggest social issues that can cause social injustice:
· Lack of affordable healthcare
Only a few countries provide their citizens with guaranteed healthcare coming from the government. Many people rely solely on their employers for health insurance. Sadly, it means that the unemployed or part-timers end up with hefty healthcare bills if they are involved in accidents or get sick.
· Climate change
The effects of climate change on mankind have become rather dangerous. There is already a consensus among the scientific community about it, and for years, warnings have been issued. Without significant changes in people’s way of life and major industries, the world’s climate might soon turn to be unfit for the survival of most species. It can lead to the global food chain’s collapse, threatening humanity’s existence.
· Hunger and food insecurity
Millions of people all over the world face hunger and live in total poverty. In this day and age, food insecurity continues to be an issue that is hard to resolve.
· Income gap
The income gap is just getting bigger, and some even foresee this divide reaching its largest ever. Disparities in pay may also be another factor based on race, sexuality, and gender.
· LGBTQ+ rights
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have been making remarkable progress for the past two decades as they fight for equal rights. But some individuals and institutions continue to discriminate according to gender or sexual orientation.
· Racial inequality
The effects of racial inequality have been rippling throughout society, affecting education, healthcare, representation, and even law enforcement.
· Voting rights
Exercising the right to vote is another major social justice issue right now and it causes social injustice.
How Poverty Leads to Social Injustice
People who live in poverty are extremely prone to exploitation, crime, and abuse. If they cannot take effective and real recourse against such actions, it only perpetuates inequality and impurity, thus further exacerbating their vulnerability.
Accountability will turn into a sham. The increased exclusion and vulnerability will also hamper their capacity to pursue justice that can continue to be passed down to one generation after the other.
The only way to defeat poverty is if we can make the law work for everyone. Access to justice is important to tackle and address the primary causes of poverty, vulnerability, and exclusion. Accessible and effective justice systems can serve as tools for developing jurisprudence on social and economic rights. These systems can mandate affordable housing provision, enforcement of human rights of people who live in poverty or remedy their exploitation by private or public actors.
This access to justice also serves as a critical lever for gender equality. It is more likely for women to be poor all over the world, but women also happen to face additional obstacles or burdens in accessing justice mechanisms.
Abuses and crimes based on gender are not effectively dealt with or well legislated most of the time. Prejudice and public stigma also play a role in silencing abused women and stopping them from seeking justice. An obstructed judicial access will only end up feeding the cycle of gendered violence and poverty and perpetuating impunity for crimes due to gender.
Food Insecurity and Social Injustice
Millions of people all over the world are actually food insecure. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of constant access to adequate food for a healthy and active life. It is a must to remember that while food insecurity and hunger are closely connected, these concepts are distinct.
Extensive research shows the complexity of the food insecurity problem. A lot of people lack the resources to address their basic needs, which are challenges that can increase the food insecurity risk of a family.
While food insecurity is closely linked with poverty, not everyone who lives below the poverty line suffers from food insecurity. In fact, even those who live above the poverty line can also suffer from food insecurity.
Food insecurity doesn’t exist on its own since several overlapping concerns can affect low-income families such as social isolation, lack of affordable housing, social or economic disadvantage due to structural racism, low wages, high medical costs, and acute or chronic health issues.
Other Social Injustice Examples
There are lots of social injustice examples today even though we live under the impression that most people’s conservative minds have already been changed. The United States, for example, is a country filled with educational gains but unfortunately, women in the country earn lower than men.
There is a huge wage gap between men and women because of educational level and race. Women have fewer earnings because they are only allowed to be part of fields with low potential for earning. Even if a woman and man work in the same field, the woman still earns significantly lower than the man. It is a gender equality-based injustice.
Social Justice Issues of 2022
It may be 2022 but the world continues to face some pressing social justice issues, which include the following:
1. Body Autonomy
This might come as a surprise but yes, body autonomy remains an issue. There remains a part of society that believes that what people choose to do with their bodies must be well within their rights.
2. Body Covering
Many countries are having a hard time with the Muslim veil issue that comes in various forms such as the niqab and body covering.
3. Child Neglect and Abuse
Even to this day, thousands of children get neglected across the globe in addition to physical, moral, and sexual mistreatments.
4. Climate Change
The whole world has been seeing and experiencing the effects of climate change, and the threats that it poses to human has become more evident now than ever.
5. Gun Violence
For many people, gun violence is considered a public health issue. However, its consequences can be felt in all areas of life in the world.
Healthcare and social justice are closely connected. A critical facet of social justice is the capacity to have fair healthcare access. Everyone needs quality healthcare but unfortunately, not all people get to enjoy these perks.
LGBTQ+ rights have been a world issue for the longest time. Members of the community are still regular victims of violence, harassment, and discrimination. Their sexual orientations also hinder them from taking on certain jobs that can negatively affect their lives in many ways.
8. Marital Rape
Marital rape is a form of sexual abuse where sexual activities are performed on someone without their consent. Studies have revealed that there are still many women who are exposed to this concern.
9. Racial Injustice
The problem of racial injustice is as old as time itself or maybe even older, with its effect felt in daily life, media, business, and education. Color is an issue that affects people of all ages from all walks of life.
10. Refugee Immigration and Crisis
The crisis of refugees has been dominant for years, with millions of people forced into fleeing their homes, with many of them ending up in refugee camps across the world. These refugees face various social challenges like access to healthcare, economic, and educational opportunities.
The COVID-19 responses of elected officials severely hampered the voting rights of some people in primary elections. There are now many organizations that actively engage to ensure that voting is accessible to citizens to avoid a low turnout of voters.
The Bottom Line
Even if the world is starting to make progress when it comes to offering social justice, complete with authorities hired and laws made for this particular purpose, one thing remains the same: social injustice prevails.
Hopefully, something can be done to address poverty and food insecurity and stop them from becoming a threat to justice that everyone needs and deserves.