Why do equal rights matter?
People are not equal, but they are of equal value. They have equal rights and are equal before the law. These human rights are an important principle of any democratic society.
Human rights are also called fundamental rights. These rights stipulate, for instance, that everyone has freedom of expression. That everyone may freely profess their religion or belief. That everyone has the right to privacy, the right to keep personal information private.
Why do these rights matter? Imagine that these rights did not apply to everyone. That in our country, a certain group of people would not be allowed to express themselves freely or to practise their religion freely. Imagine that a group of people, not suspected of any crime, would still be monitored by the government.
All this would make for a very unpleasant society. One in which one or more groups of people would repeatedly be slighted and discriminated against. An unliveable society. Would you want to live there? Human rights are worth defending. And everyone can make a contribution!
Furthermore, we speak of equality which is not just right in principle. It is necessary for individuals. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. To achieve this, we must tackle inequality and root out discrimination.
Equality is also necessary for the economy. A competitive economy draws on all the talents and ability – it is not limited by prejudice.
Equality is even more necessary for society because a more equal society is more cohesive and at ease with itself.
Everyone can contribute in creating a fair society because fairness is the foundation for individual rights, a prosperous economy, and a peaceful society. Fairness and equality are the hallmarks of a modern and confident society.
Notwithstanding all this and despite considerable progress registered throughout the years, inequality and discrimination still exist which is why the law needs to be strengthened.