Social justice, though not a new term, has become a bigger focus in recent years. It basically describes what should be considered just and fair in a society. This includes equality and fairness regarding wealth, opportunities, race, gender, and more. What are the social justice topics that will be most important and relevant in the future? Here are ten:
The LGBT community and its allies have been fighting for equality for years, and while great strides have been made in many countries, there are still battles to be waged. This includes the rights of gay couples to adopt, the right to receive services, and freedom from discrimination. Depending on the place, being openly gay can be extremely dangerous, while even in more progressive countries, discrimination is still prevalent. Social justice advocates will keep fighting for this community in the future.
The trans community is part of the LGBT+, but we’re making this topic its own paragraph because trans folx face unique challenges. In recent news, a big one has been American military service. Being able to access affordable health care, adopt children, enjoy freedom from discrimination, and receive justice following violence are all also part of trans-specific social justice around the world.
Religion often comes up in arguments about social justice, because a person’s religious beliefs can bump up against another person’s rights. The big question in the future will be where is the line? When it seems that two rights are contradicting each other, which one takes priority? While the answer may seem obvious to many, the reality is that it’s a complicated issue and will take a lot of time to work out.
Access to reproductive care has been a hot-button topic for years, and given the current political climate, it will continue to be so. In the United States, the future of Roe v. Wade is uncertain, while there are many countries where abortion is illegal or it’s difficult to get birth control. Being able to make decisions about reproduction is an essential human right, and will remain an important aspect of social justice.
Gerrymandering, which is the process of restructuring voting districts to favor one party or another, has been an issue for decades, but it will continue to be relevant. When gerrymandering is allowed, it disenfranchises lots of people. Many are just starting to understand its impact, and the Supreme Court recently declared that it cannot stop partisan gerrymandering. This will significantly affect elections and American democracy.
Violence by the police or government forces against citizens is a global problem. Whether it’s protestors in Sudan or unarmed black Americans, lots of people become victims of police and armed forces. What can be done to change the systems that allow this violence and how to get justice will remain big social justice questions in the future.
When someone goes to prison, oftentimes their basic human rights are stripped away. Prisoners can be treated like animals and made to work for slavery wages. Women prisoners (especially women of color) face the hardest circumstances. Groups set up to protect prisoner rights will continue their work, while new ones will definitely appear in the coming years.
There are many reasons why someone is forced to leave their home, including war. Where the refugees or immigrants can go and how they’re treated when they get there will be huge issues in the future. In the United States, harsh policies like child separation are already showing just how bad things can get, and social justice and human rights advocates are rising up in response.
Climate-changed related issues
Climate change impacts a society at its very foundation. Events like natural disasters, long droughts, and floods will continue, causing food insecurity, sickness, civil conflict, and more. Who gets help and what that help looks like will be big social justice topics as climate change progresses and affects more and more areas.
Right to privacy
With big media companies like Facebook gathering data on users, the prevalence of hacking, and other internet surveillance, a person’s privacy is easily compromised. How much we should trust Facebook and other companies, and what sorts of laws we can set up will be big issues in the future. When it’s the government doing the spying, how do we protect an individual’s privacy while balancing national security? These are the social justice questions we’ll be discussing for a long time.