Advocacy means taking action to create change! Whether you’re talking to your friends and family, or engaging with an advocacy organization, the most important way to be an advocate is speaking up. By raising your voice for women’s rights and gender equality, you can spread awareness and break down barriers.
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Whether it be promoting greater road safety in your local neighborhood or the protection of women’s rights, advocacy plays a major role in having the voices of citizens heard by individuals in power. Through advocacy, individuals are able to foster a sense of community and solidarity in order to promote their cause to the wider public. Here are 10 reasons why advocacy is important and how it holds an impact on all aspects of life.
1. Advocacy enables people to be heard
Advocacy allows individuals to have their voices heard in the public sphere, attracting attention from politicians, the media and high-profile individuals around the world. By advocating for a cause, individuals are able to spotlight their perspective to the wider community and act as a catalyst for change. Without advocacy many voices would remain silenced. If we didn’t have advocates, we would miss out on critical support for many important issues.
2. Advocacy supports the protection of human rights
Issues that are advocated for are often based on protecting the rights of humans. Through advocacy, communities at large will have a greater awareness of their rights and societal entitlements and the infringement of rights marginalized groups in society face today. The promotion of the rights of women, education, and safety are all issues that pertain to the protection of human rights and are often discussed and negotiated in the societal sphere.
3. Advocacy influences laws and policies
Similar to having the voices of individuals heard in the public sphere, advocacy can directly influence decisions in public policy. As communities advocate for a certain cause or issue, politicians and law makers alike will become increasingly aware of such issues and may consider including the perspectives of advocates into formal law or policy. This is crucial for social change and holding perpetrators to account.
4. Advocacy enables people to better understand each other
Depending on the success and outreach of advocacy efforts, major celebrities, famous entrepreneurs and philanthropists may be influenced by the promotion of a certain cause in society. Such outreach will enable influential individuals to make a public statement on such issues and may help to change the status quo of society and enact greater and meaningful change. Moreover, members in the community will be exposed to certain issues and topics which is the first step to a better mutual understanding.
5. Advocacy promotes problem solving and participation
All advocacy efforts require communities and groups to collectively work together and solve problems. From organizing logistics of advocacy efforts to organizing public protests, communities will need coordination skills in order to ensure the smooth facilitation of advocacy efforts. Participation and participatory decision-making is crucial for advocacy work.
6. Advocacy highlights available resources and services
Although advocacy works to fight for the rights of marginalized individuals and groups in society, a positive externality of advocacy is the discovery of resources and services that may be available to assist advocacy efforts. Whether it be additional financial resources to further fund advocacy initiatives or governmental services that can assist marginalized groups, greater advocacy can allow people to utilize resources and services that were previously thought unattainable.
7. Advocacy educates the greater community
Nelson Mandela was quoted saying that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, and this can be directly applied to the importance of advocacy in society. Oftentimes, people are unaware of the injustices and grievances groups face around the world and advocacy efforts can help shed light and educate the greater public on such issues. Advocacy is a learning process and can help equip people with the skills they need to defend and claim their rights.
8. Advocacy fosters respect for a cause
Advocacy is important because not only does it help make the world a better place, it also fosters respect for issues that concern the world today. Fostering respect and solidarity are integral for advocacy efforts to move forward and enables individuals, groups and people in power alike to find common ground and solve problems in a civil manner.
9. Advocacy makes people feel stronger
Oftentimes, individuals may be afraid or feel a lack of motivation when trying to advocate for issues that hold great personal intent because they are alone. A strong support network can help people get back their drive and trigger momentum. Advocacy efforts thrive when implemented in a group context, as people are strengthened by the presence and will of other people.
10. Advocacy helps NGOs to thrive
Non-profit organizations and NGOs are often founded upon a central goal or mission that works to make the world a better place. Advocacy for certain causes will help non-profit organizations strive towards such goals and will garner greater attention from the public eye, which will help them to make a change in the world through their ambitions, hopes and dreams for the future.