As society becomes more advanced, it tends to move in the direction of more rights for more people, with the end goal being that no one is kept from realizing their dreams, because they were not born with the right skin color or they do not have the right religious beliefs. Sadly our society is not there yet - there are still many inequalities in the world. This article will familiarize you with some of them and let you know what you can do to help rectify this.

What most people tend to think of when "equal rights" is mentioned is racism. A hard fought battle in the United States in the 1960s gave African Americans the same rights as the white majority, so racism is over, right? Wrong. Racism still exists in many circles, whether it's telling a tasteless joke about Asians or refusing to add African art pieces to a museum collection because their creators are seen as intellectually inferior. In some countries, you can still be persecuted because of your race.

Another battle that is commonly seen to be over is the struggle of women to gain the same rights as men. In most first world countries there are laws preventing owners of companies from discriminating against women, but there are still barriers to be broken, such as the rule against women in certain branches of the military and the tendency of some industries, such as film and business, to be dominated by men. In some countries, girls are not even allowed to go to school, show their faces in public, or choose their own husbands.

Though there is still work to be done in these areas, today's major battleground on the field of equal rights is sexual orientation. There are many people who will not employ another person if they are openly gay even though it is not allowed. In many places in the first world, homosexuals are prevented from marrying or adopting or joining certain religions, and in some countries they are persecuted, attacked, or murdered because of their sexual orientation.

What can you do? If you want to change the world, the first step is always to live the change. Support people in your own life who is different from you and encourage friends and family to treat them as an equal too. Push your government representatives to support equal rights legislation. Help victims of persecution. Raise awareness of the injustice.

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