6 Good Things That Happened For Human Rights in 2022
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6 Good Things That Happened For Human Rights in 2022

And yes, they were actually monumental, not just feel-good fuzz stories.

6 Good Things That Happened For Human Rights in 2022

This is a response to 11 Good Things That Happened In 2017 for Human Rights

School shootings. COVID outbreaks. Terrorism. War.

2022 wasn’t exactly a fabulous year for human rights. Yet, even among the smoldering wreckage, we can still salvage some fodder for hope. Here are some rare human rights wins that may have slipped under the radar amidst the turbulence of 2022:

More Women in Office

For the first time, New Zealand’s and Chile’s parliaments have a female lawmaker majority, with Australia also having a record number of women in government positions. This is a huge stride for equal gender representation in the three countries, since these incredible women will craft policies that can directly advance gender parity and combat misogyny in politics.

Widespread recognition of LGBTQ+ rights

Cuba, Slovenia and Mexico legalized gay marriage! A long time coming, but tardy is better than never. Tokyo is now also recognizing gay and lesbian partnerships, with Canada going so far as to outright ban conversion therapy. Although we have a long road ahead to achieve full equality, major strides in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights have gone underway in 2022.

Climate change reparations

COP27 achieved a landmark deal: rich countries will now pay for the damages done to poor countries by climate change. Wealthier nations finally recognized that their share in spurring the climate crisis through greenhouse gas emissions was disproportionately larger than their poorer counterparts. This is a great step forward for accountability and global cooperation.

Individual actions can change everything

A solitary man holding up a sign on a bridge sparked a mass movement for change across China, an act of civil disobedience that unleashed the Chinese people’s anger toward Xi Jinping’s draconian crackdowns. This shows us how even the smallest actions can yield momentous results, and that freedom from tyranny is worth fighting for.

…and can defy brutal regimes

Iranian citizens ferociously fought back against extremist leaders, banding together under the unifying cause of women’s rights. Whether it was schoolgirls shouting down school administrators, or Iranian celebrities demonstrating their solidarity by not wearing hijabs, 2022 saw one of the most monumental rebellions in Iranian history for women’s rights.

Democracy still matters

Whether it’s Brazil voting out Bolsonaro, or Colombia and Australia electing leftist leaders, or even the successful quelling of the red wave in the United States midterms, voters around the world demonstrated that we still believe in the promises of democracy. That we won’t vote in leaders who don’t believe in our elections, and that we refuse to let constitutional violations slide. That we’re capable of so much more than we think with just our vote.

So yes, 2022 was another brutal, post-pandemic year rife with the worst of what humanity can offer. But it was also a year of change, a year of pivoting into a direction that sees us reclaiming our power to do good.

And hopefully, this human rights progress continue well into 2023.

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