Let’s heal the world, not convert people

The world is far from ready, and Finland is still on its way to being equal and safe for all people. As conflicts break out, it is easy to turn inward and shut out progress and civilisation in the name of safety. There is even talk about values becoming harder, which actually means suffocating the dignity or the freedom of being and loving of other people.

When values get harder, we must not forget that safety concerns every member of society. According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, a significant proportion of people in Finland belonging to gender and sexual minorities has experienced harassment and violence. The more marginalised a person is, even within the rainbow community, the more difficulties they face.

The theme of Helsinki Pride this year is peace and hope. Here at SAMOK and SYL, we demand that institutions of higher education take action to make it safe for students belonging to sexual and/or gender minorities to take part in the community. At best, a community of higher education can be a resource for people to keep them going.

“SAMOK has published an Equality Model for Institutions of Higher Education, including a checklist for the diversity of genders and sexual orientations. Institutes of higher education would do well to get to know the list and implement any measures promoting equality in the higher education community”, says Sanni Koivuluoma, Vice President of SAMOK.

Equality is everybody’s business. This is why we also encourage all student organisations to actively collaborate with each other and with institutions of higher education to create a safer community of higher education.

“The freedom to be exactly what you are without fear of prejudice or violence should be an undisputed human right for all, not just a select few. As increasing violence and uncertainty rock the world, we must work hard to make human rights a reality”, says Jesse Häyhä, Member of the SYL Board.

Creating a safe and equal environment is everyone’s responsibility. The world is not ready yet, but our actions can move it in the right direction. People do not need to be converted, but the world could use some healing.

Happy Pride everyone!

For further inquiries, please contact:

Jesse Häyhä
Member of the Board, SYL
044 906 5003

Sanni Koivuluoma
Vice President, SAMOK
050 360 9376

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