The Importance of Equality and Inclusion (SHC33)
1.1 As human beings, we are all different. The human race is made up of people with a whole range of different characteristics and backgrounds. This rich and diverse melting pot contributes to making a well-rounded and strong community. However this is sometimes viewed in a negative light, so it is highly important that we encourage children to view it in a positive way.
In order to promote diversity, inclusion and equality we first need to understand what each of these words actually mean:
• DIVERSITY – ‘The differences between individuals and groups in society arising from gender, ethnic origins, social, cultural or religious backgrounds, family structure, disabilities, sexuality and appearance.’ (CYPW Level 3 – Penny Tassoni). .Essentially this is about acknowledging differences between and within groups.
• EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY – ‘ Each individual in society experiences opportunities to achieve and flourish which are as good as the opportunities experienced by others’ (CYPW Level 3 – Penny Tassoni).It’s a framework which allows opportunity, access, contribution and participation that is fair and inclusive.
• INCLUSION – ‘ A process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging’ (CYPW Level 3 – Penny Tassoni).It’s about ensuring people are engaged and belong – an approach which focuses on enabling individuals.
1.2/1.3/ 2.1 Discrimination is a significant barrier to inclusion, as is prejudice. Prejudice is ‘a judgement or opinion, often negative, of a person or group, made without careful consideration of accurate information, which may lead to the view that some people are inferior to other human beings, and of less worth or significance’ (CYPW Level 3 – Penny Tassoni).
Prejudice arises when the differences between people become a source of suspicion and antagonism. Usually prejudice arises when people make assumptions; some common assumptions amongst some individuals can be for example that:
• women are less capable than men
• some religious, cultural or social groups are more superior than others
• individuals or families that differ from the usual expectations are not normal
• people with different skin colour, gender, abilities, sexuality or appearance are in some way inferior
These assumptions often have no basis and can have many negative effects. When children experience prejudice such as this their self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence can be badly damaged
Potential effects on individual
Lack of confidence
Poor self worth, self- image- can continue into
It is quite common for people to make these assumptions without consciously doing it, for example, we often assume that men are stronger and more able than women. This is why it is important that when we are working with children we think about what we say before we say it, and we give all children the same chances and opportunities regardless of gender, race or ability.
It is hard to believe but even very young children can experience discrimination as a result of the colour of their skin, their family’s way of life, a disability, their gender, and their social background.
This type of discrimination is harmful for children because it can lead to them being denied the advantages experienced by others, and this would cause them to be less likely to fulfil their potential. It could also mean that they do not progress and experience success in their lives, the detrimental effects of the discrimination on their self-confidence could cause them to be less motivated. It could mean too, that they are excluded from certain roles in life.
All of these effects of discrimination could mean that the potential of the individual being discriminated against would not be reached.In terms of the wider community the...