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World Day of Social Justice

Today, GATE joins the World Day of Social Justice by sharing issue of social injustice as they relate to trans, gender diverse and intersex people and how we can make change happen.

The need for a World Day of Social Justice highlights that, all around the world, social injustice is the rule, not the exception. From the day we are born, intersex people are exposed to social injustice. For us, being able to enter this gendered world is to be subjected to mutilating and raping procedures. Trans and gender diverse people are exposed to social injustice every day, everywhere. For us, just being and expressing ourselves often results in stigma, discrimination and violence. 

Social injustice is manifested in very basic and material ways, by restricting access to water, food, medicines, beds, bathrooms. Social injustice hurts, maims, tortures and kills. Our access to education, healthcare, housing and shelter, community life, employment and unemployment benefits, loans and the simple opportunity of participating in social life is severely diminished or outright denied. Fighting social injustice requires societies to examine and confront those official institutions upholding these injustices, including schools, hospitals, immigration, development and other governmental agencies.

Those of us who are black, brown and/or from other racial minorities; those of us who are disabled, young or elderly, migrants, living with HIV and/or with other chronic health conditions, those of us who are or who have been imprisoned find ourselves at the intersection of life-threatening social injustice. Achieving social justice means not only to improve individuals’ material conditions in life right now. It means assuming and recognizing generational injustice, and collectively working to acknowledge, address and repair the consequences of this historic oppression. The right to truth is essential for social justice to become a reality.  

Collecting and analyzing data on social injustice requires the use of critical methodologies able to recognize specific vulnerabilities and obstacles. Disaggregation, intersectionality and decolonization must be guiding principles and tools to achieve not only social, but also systemic justice. Social injustice has a deeply negative impact on those movements struggling to dismantle it. In 2016, over ¾ of intersex-led groups, and over ½ of trans-led groups had a total annual budget of less than US$10,000. Supporting community-led organizing and political mobilization is an urgent matter of social justice.