With so many things going on around the world, we must raise awareness of these issues concerning us and the people on this planet. One such way of doing so is by observing international days and weeks that are occasions held to educate the public on issues of concern. These Awareness days are commemorated “to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity,” says the UN.
We have compiled a long list of all the Awareness Days marked in February 2022 that you should know of to help bring about a change.
February 1 – February 7, 2022
World Interfaith Harmony Week
‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’ is observed every year during the first week of February. It has been observed since after the General Assembly designation in 2010. According to the UN website, they pointed out that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.”
The day was conceived to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence. It was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the United Nations in 2010 and was quickly adopted by the UN General Assembly (resolution A/RES/65/5). The UN General Assembly declared the first week of February each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week. According to the UN website, it calls on “governments, institutions and civil society to observe it with various programs and initiatives that would promote the aim of the WIHW objectives.”
It “recognizes the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people,” according to the UN website.
The General Assembly “encourages all States to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship during that week, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions,” as per the United Nations website.
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’: HERE
February 2, 2022
World Wetlands Day
Wetlands are ecosystems where “water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life.” It is “critical to people and nature, given the intrinsic value of these ecosystems, and their benefits and services, including their environmental, climate, ecological, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic contributions to sustainable development and human wellbeing,” as per the United Nations website.
According to the UN website, Wetland biodiversity matters for our health, our food supply, for tourism and for jobs, and wetlands are vital for humans, for other ecosystems, and for our climate. It provides essential ecosystem services such as water regulation, including flood control and water purification, however, wetlands are among the ecosystems with the highest rates of decline, loss, and degradation. They are disappearing three times faster than forests, as per the UN website. Wetlands are Earth’s most threatened ecosystem, as per the UN website.
“Wetlands are a natural solution to the era-defining global threat of climate change as they absorb carbon dioxide,” states the UN website. This helps to slow global heating and reduce pollution. Hence, they have often been referred to as the “Kidneys of the Earth”.
It is crucial that we raise awareness about wetlands to reverse their rapid loss. It is both urgent and important to encourage actions to conserve and restore wetlands. ‘World Wetlands Day’ is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these critically important ecosystems.
The theme for the day in 2022 is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”. It highlights the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for human and planetary health. “An urgent call to take action and to invest financial, human, and political capital is this year’s appeal to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing altogether — and to restore those we have already lost,” as per the UN website.
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘World Wetlands Day’: HERE
February 4, 2022
International Day of Human Fraternity
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 4 February as the ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’, with resolution 75/200. “As we commemorate the International Day of Human Fraternity, let us commit to do more to promote cultural and religious tolerance, understanding and dialogue,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The United Nations website states: “There is deep concern regarding acts that advocate religious hatred and, thereby, undermine the spirit of tolerance and respect for diversity, especially at a time when the world confronts the unprecedented crisis caused by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which requires a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation.”
We must emphasize the importance of raising awareness about different cultures as well as religions, or beliefs. It is important to promote tolerance. This involves societal acceptance as well as respect for religious and cultural diversity, including with regard to religious expression. Similarly, education, in particular at school, “should contribute in a meaningful way to promoting tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief,” as per the United Nations website.
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’: HERE
February 6, 2022
International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
The United Nations website states: “Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.”
Short-term complications that girls who undergo FGM face include severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty in passing urine. This includes long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health as well as mental health.
To promote the elimination of this procedure, coordinated and systematic efforts are needed. These efforts must engage whole communities. They “must focus on human rights, gender equality, sexual education, and attention to the needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences,” as per the UN website.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6 as the ‘International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation’. Its aim is to “amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.”
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation’: HERE
you may also read: Female Genital Mutilation: Ongoing Violence Against Women
February 10, 2022
World Pulses Day
Representative image via Freepik
Recognizing the value of Pulses, also known as legumes, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231). It proclaims 2016 as the ‘International Year of Pulses’ (IYP) and its celebration led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “increased the public awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production,” as per the United Nations website.
According to the UN website, “Building on the success of the International Year of Pulses and recognizing their potential to further achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular relevance to Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 13 and 15, Burkina Faso proposed the observance of World Pulses Day.” In 2019, the General Assembly proclaimed 10 February as the World Pulses Day.
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘World Pulses Day’: HERE
February 11, 2022
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Representative image via Freepik
“Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” states the United Nations website. “Over the past decades, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science.” Despite this, sadly, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.
A significant gender gap has persisted all over the globe throughout the years. This includes ”all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world.” Women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education. However, they are still under-represented in these fields.
“In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015,” says the UN website.
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’” HERE
February 13, 2022
World Radio Day
Radio is a low-cost and powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people. It constitutes a platform for democratic discourse and offers a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium and plays a crucial role in emergency communication and disaster relief.
“This unique ability to reach out the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard,” states the UN website
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘World Radio Day’: HERE
February 20, 2022
World Day of Social Justice
“The General Assembly recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security, or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” as per the United Nations website.
It “recognizes that globalization and interdependence are opening new opportunities through trade, investment, and capital flows and advances in technology.” This includes “information technology, for the growth of the world economy and the development and improvement of living standards around the world.”
At the same time there “remain serious challenges, including serious financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion, and inequality within and among societies, and considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy for developing countries, as well as some countries with economies in transition,” according to the UN website.
On 26 November 2007, the General Assembly declared that “starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice.”
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘World Day of Social Justice’: HERE
February 21, 2022
International Mother Language Day
Representative image via Freepik
‘International Mother Language Day’ was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002,” as per the UN website.
“Today there is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in development.” It not only ensures cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue but also strengthens co-operation and attains quality education for all. Languages help in “building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage.” It assists in “mobilizing political will for applying the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development.”
Visit the UN website to learn more about ‘International Mother Language Day’: HERE