Why Voting Matters: Building Better Representation and Governance.
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
SDG 16: WHAT IS IT?
With the US elections and voting happening now, we’re kicking off this series on learning about the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by starting off with SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. This goal seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, governments that allow for justice among all levels of society, and effective institutions that benefit and protect citizens. It is imperative that governments and the international community uphold and protect SDG development progress. SDG 16 aims to reduce problems such as armed conflict, violence, human rights abuses, trafficking, government destabilization, and more which can hinder the acceleration of achieving all sustainable development goals.
HOW TO VOTE IN THE UPCOMING U.S ELECTIONS
Protecting SDG 16 is not just the government’s responsibility; we as individuals also have an important role by being an advocate for our concerns and beliefs, being actively engaged citizens in the policies and discussions affecting the country, and voting for our leaders. There’s still time to vote in the U.S elections. Here’s some quick info you need to know on how you can vote today:
In most elections in the United States, you’ll have to vote in-person or at an official polling location where you can cast your vote
If you need to vote in person, check your polling place close to Election Day. Find out about early voting options
THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN AMERICA. WHAT IT TOOK TO GET HERE.
Voting is a privilege that’s taken for granted, but it took a lot for minorities and underrepresented communities to gain this right. Women and African Americans have historically been barred from voting and faced a series of obstacles in place until they were granted their right to vote. For African Americans, the civil war granted them citizenship under law but many were unable to vote in their states until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1870. The Woman Suffrage movement for women’s voting rights began in 1848, but it was not until 1920 that the 19th Amendment for women’s right to vote was ratified. The right to vote took a lot of effort and advocacy so we need to exercise this right to the best of our ability.
WE UPHOLD SDG 16; HERE’S HOW.
The World Within Us is committed to achieving all the global goals and we recognize the importance of maintaining SDG 16 in our travel destinations. We selectively partner with organizations like Seven Women in Nepal and Mother Jungle in Indonesia that are all inclusive, especially of vulnerable groups like young women and indigenous peoples, because empowering these groups is an important step in building peaceful, fair, and just societies. Our partnership with local nonprofits that work with underrepresented groups is important and we are able to support maintaining peace, inclusion, and effective institutions within each trip.
GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE STRONGER PEACE, JUSTICE, AND INSTITUTIONS
In order to ensure stronger peace, just and inclusive societies, and effective government institutions that protect and respect their people, the global community and everyday citizens need to take targeted actions. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development outlines some of these, including reducing violence by cutting down on production and distribution of weapons, protecting children from abuse and violence by providing them more protection and social care services, reducing corruption and inefficient government from the local level, and getting rid of discriminatory laws and policies that unfairly target certain demographic groups.