Social workers are committed to promoting social, economic equality
Posted Tuesday, March 19 2013 at 02:00
At the moment, the world’s population staggers at seven billion and suffers staggering social and economic disparities. Over 25,000 people die every day, of hunger or hunger-related causes according to the UN. This is one person every 3.5 seconds.
Annually, every third Tuesday of March, the world celebrates the World Social Work Day to highlight, for the global community, the social work profession’s many contributions to society and be part of an ongoing dialogue with partners as to how the various social challenges can be responded to. The entire month is dedicated to social work, with Social work educators and practitioners celebrating their noble work and innovativeness.
Given the current global financial disarray, the theme selected this year is Social Workers promoting social and economic equalities as outlined by the global agenda developed collaboratively by three international organisations; the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW), and the International Council of Social welfare (ICSW). This is the theme at the United Nations as well as they discuss the post millennium development goals on the UN Social Work Day in New York, on March 25.
For more than a century, our profession has been instrumental in achieving civil and increased human rights advances in all parts of the world. A key aspect of social work’s primary mission is that of enhancing human wellbeing and working to ensure that people are able to meet their basic needs especially the most vulnerable among us. We have done this through our many different roles in society and our various fields of practice and now we must work to ensure that the most vulnerable are at the forefront of all our efforts as we work for more just economic systems to be put in place.
Social work strives to promote social and economic equalities and Social Work Day is an opportunity to retaliate our vision to usher in a more equitable, just and compassionate order, and also to celebrate the contribution made by social work to the global fraternity. Our commitment to social justice, human rights and equality is our foundation, and informs teaching, research, policy and practice.
At the moment, the world’s population staggers at seven billion and suffers staggering social and economic disparities. Over 25,000 people die every day, of hunger or hunger related causes according to the UN. This is one person every 3.5 seconds.
Unfortunately, it is children who die most often; ironically, there is more than enough food in the world for everyone. The problem here is unequal distribution of food. Hungry citizens are trapped in crushing poverty and lack of money to buy enough food for sustainance. The vicious cycle only ends in death by impoverishment.
Poor governance, low political will, insecurity, unjust economic policies that perpetuate endemic income disparities between low and high income countries are responsible and these are compounded by discrimination based on several issues towards one another. Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan once noted that ‘the house of man will never be secure while billions live in the basement and a few live in the penthouses and do as they please.’ Social workers in Uganda need to bestow themselves with compassion and clarity of purpose to end these inequities.
Prof. Vimla V. Nadkarni, president of IASSW urges all social workers to rise above our differences and mitigate the heartbreaking disparities. Social workers must empower the poor and oppressed to raise their voices and clamor for social and economic equalities.
In his message to celebrate this day, Dr. Gary Bailey, the IFSW president notes that the current global economic situations call for us to raise our collective voices, to increase in our professional unity and engagement, so that as a profession, we can be more influential and relevant, in the international, political and economic arenas.
Let us therefore join together and move in solidarity to achieve social and economic equality all over the world. Happy Social Work day.
Ms Kansiime is the coordinator, National Association of Social Workers of Uganda.