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Let’s promote equality instead of discrimination

– Päivi Niemi-Laine

People have the right to privacy in the workplace. Everyone must have the right to be themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Discrimination is “everyday racism” characterised by continuity. It easily diminishes a person’s self-esteem, participation and identity.

Everyday racism is created by prejudices, fears and negative stereotypes related to diversity, and a general difficulty in accepting diversity.

Fears and phobias have increased lately, and the discriminatory mechanisms arising from them have also targeted sexual minorities.

Preventing discrimination and promoting equality require us to be aware of the phenomenon.

Eliminating fears and prejudices require increasing training on human rights and diversity, and increasing communication between different groups. The goal is equality that recognises diversity as a part of the Finnish identity.

The power of thought alone does not improve equality, not even the power of legislation. We need bold people who are working towards making the world and Finland better places to live for us all.

Human suffering has led to hardened attitudes in all of Europe, not only towards immigrants. Many other minority groups have also had their share of the cold shower.

Sometimes it feels like empathy in society is on the decline. We easily think that success and getting along are dependent on a person’s own choices. It is easier to throw stones at those who are vulnerable than those who are stronger.

Modern times have, in a way, given permission to speak harshly of and stigmatise others. To discriminate against those who are weaker and let oneself be engulfed by one’s excellence. This road will not lead to anything good.

Finland ranks high in many fine international measurements. This is a stable, affluent, non-corrupt and safe country.

People are equal in the eyes of the law. But are we equal to one another? Unfortunately not.

When the Equality Act is partially reformed, it would be important that the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s authority is extended to working life. One could then intervene in discrimination more effectively. One method would be to also draw up an equality plan in workplaces with less than 30 employees.

We must increase low-threshold judicial remedies, i.e., the Equality Tribunal’s authority must be extended to working life. The initiator could be the victim themself, their representative or an organisation promoting equality. The victim’s name would not have to be mentioned. A payment of compensation to the victim should be imposed.

We must be willing not to accept discrimination but rather promote equality. That is why it is important to speak up about racism and discrimination.

Willingness relates to a person’s inner motivation. It arises from values, shared experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Willingness is a characteristic that determines our future. If you truly want something, you must be prepared to work for it. A willing person sees to it that things are wrapped up, even when it would be easiest to give up.

Willingness has to do with senses and being bold. Willingness is power.

Have a sunny Pride Week everyone! Let’s look after each other!

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