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The silver lining to 2020 the list of 10 good news that happened this year.
2020 is a year like no other! It was a tough year for people and planet. We lost a lot, struggled to cope and just missed out friends and families ! So here is the 10 stories of progress and positivity that got hidden behind the headlines in 2020.
1. Accelerated conversations on equity, diversity and inclusion
The year 2020 has presented a real opportunity for change. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for embracing diversity and inclusion. More people, specially the younger generations, are seizing the moment to consider their roles and opportunity to advance the conversation around racial injustice, diversity, and inclusion. There is still a long way to go, there always will be work to do – but we have gone from talking the talk to walking the walk.
2. Your vote matters
This year we have witnessed the overwhelming impact of existing crises and the spread of Covid-19. Creating change for a better world – from ending global poverty to achieving universal healthcare for all – start with elected leader who will champion and take a stand for these issues.
3. The fight against human trafficking and abuse continues
Mastercard and Visa were no longer process payment for PornHub, one one the world’s most popular adult website, after it found “unlawful content” on the platform.
Human trafficking, sexual exploitation, abuse and porn industry are inseparably linked. According to anti-trafficking non-profit, Rescue:Freedom, in 9 countries, 49% of sexually exploited women said that pornography was made of them while they were being sold for sex. In other words, porn fuels trafficking, and vice versa.
The fight to stop sexual exploitation, abuse and human trafficking are far from over. While we believe the cut from payment processing companies can put a dent in the massive porn industry, greater actions are to eliminate sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
4. Positive period conversation gathered pace
For years, we get the sense that periods are embarrassing at best and outright shameful at worst. More voices and actions of individuals, artists, non-profits, change maker, private sectors and media decided to take action to tackle some of the challenges riddling the menstrual health industry – from access, affordability and sustainability, to education and stigma. It is crucial to improve the relationship between perceptions, access and information surrounding menstruations.
5. Greater respect for teachers and educators
2020 has redefined the role of teachers and educators around the world. When the pandemic began, teachers and educators are given little notice to shift very quickly to distance learning or e-learning, sometimes with little or zero training and supports.
Like many of us, teachers are struggling; they have to balance home and work and how to do their life’s work from afar while simultaneously caring for students, grieving losses, and facing major disparities as they do their jobs.
Teachers and educators deserve all of our support, respect and gratitude for all they are called on to do — not only in “normal” circumstances, but also in these extremely challenging times.
It is critical to provide better compensation for teachers, as well as the opportunity to be part of policy making, planning, and engagement to drive real change and continuous improvement.
6. Global momentum around climate change
More countries made net-zero pledges in 2020. South Korea became the first Asian country to set a 2050 net-zero emissions goal, followed by Japan, and China, which committed to reaching net zero by 2060. Add these commitments up alongside pre-existing national climate commitments around the world, such as the EU’s landmark net-zero goal, New Zealand’s pledges to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025, and President-elect Joe Biden’s promise to put the U.S. on a net-zero footing by 2050, and 63 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions are emitted in territories soon to be governed by some form of net-zero commitment.
7. The rise of outdoor activities and nature appreciation
Shortly after stay-at-home advisories were announced in many part of the world, the cycling and outdoor recreation industries gained momentum. Consumers, especially urban populations, are looking for activities to help them stay occupied and healthy as COVID-19 necessitates social distancing. As a result, a number of outdoor categories have experienced explosive growth. Cycling, nature sightings, as well as backyard adventures took center stages in 2020. The New York Times recently published an article discussing the rise of bird-watching as consumers connected with nature while stuck at home. This period may encourage those used to a more hectic lifestyle to slow down and pay attention to the natural beauty that has always surrounded them.
8. Sprouting interests in old hobbies such gardening and baking
With many people confined to home during the pandemic, many have rediscovered their love for old hobbies such as baking and gardening. There is evidence of flourishing urban farming, with more city dwellers to grow fruit and vegetables in their homes.
The pandemic is a reminder that disruptions to food supplies can take place at any time. It has sparked more interest about where food is coming from. Urban farms can be a shock absorber during disruptions such as this.
9. Screen-free activities are embraced
In the era of self-isolation and endless virtual meetings, humble board games and puzzles are ideal to bring household members together, distract us from worries and screen time. Continued social isolation and pandemic-fuelled stress may exacerbate anxiety disorders. And while board games and will not fix everything, it can help people find social connection.
10. Lockdowns open doors for new forms of community-based supports and volunteering
While Covid-19 pandemic has self-isolated billions of people, it has prompted millions to volunteers in many innovative ways – from helping neighbours with shopping to virtual concerts and provide essentials to vulnerable communities. In the face of lockdowns and social distancing, volunteers are moving online, finding entirely new ways to contribute their unique skills and attributes.
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