Question 1: Define what is meant by ‘equality’. (AC 1.1) Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the aforementioned areas. Bullying, harassment or victimization are also considered as equality and diversity issues.
Question 2: Describe what is meant by ‘diversity’. (AC 2.1) Diversity refers to the wide range of attributes, backgrounds and skills that are in our society. In the UK, we have people of many different races, religions, colours, abilities and ages. They bring a diverse and colourful range of cultures, traditions, ceremonies, skills, languages, backgrounds, experience and other attributes to our society. A diverse approach aims to recognise, harness and manage differences, so that everyone can contribute to society and realise their full potential. Diversity challenges us to recognise and value all sorts of differences in order to make society more inclusive, fair and comfortable for everyone.
Question 3: Define the following terms: (AC 1.2)
a) Discrimination: Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less fairly than another person in the same situation because of their race, gender, disability and religious beliefs. This can also be seen by excluding people from jobs, promotion and education, making assumptions about different abilities, physical assault, verbal and non-verbal abuse and avoiding people because of their race and religious backgrounds.
b) Prejudice: Prejudice is based on preconceived and unfounded opinions, where someone does not know all the facts about a person, group or situation. It is an act of prejudging someone or something, usually judging them to be of less worth or value. It can also lead to dislike, hostility or unjust behaviour. People are prejudice because of race, sex (male or female), Religion and much more.
c) Stereotyping: A stereotype is usually based on limited or incomplete knowledge about the person, group or thing. It is often based on an exaggeration of characteristics, and can relate to race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
d) Labelling: Labelling is when we identify individuals as members of particular groups and categorise them in society. The individuals are then expected to conform to the behaviour associated with the stereotype with which they have been labelled. Word labels in our culture represent specific aspects of a person’s life, such as religious affiliation, race, gender, age or education levels. Labelling can be positive or negative, but both shape the way people perceive themselves to others. Negative labels can often build barriers between people who are actually very similar to each other, by highlighting differences rather that similarities. Positive labels can help a group to bond and feel valued and included, such as a football team’s supporters who all wear the team’s kit and colours to a match.
e) Protected Characteristics: These are the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful. The characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
f) Equal Opportunity: Equal Opportunity means the right to be treated without discrimination, especially on the grounds of someone’s gender, race, age or other protected characteristic. It means treating people who have different skills and abilities as individuals, and not making judgements based on stereotypes. Equal opportunity policies and practices of organisations and the public sector make sure that everyone is entitled to freedom from discrimination, and that they all have equal access to opportunities like education and employment.
g) Positive Action: Positive action is where an organisation provides support or encouragement to a particular group. It is only allowed where a specific group suffers a disadvantage connected to a shared protected characteristic, or if their participation in an activity is disproportionately low.
h) Discrimination by Association: Discrimination by association is discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who has a protected characteristic.
Question 4: Describe three examples of equal opportunity within society. (AC 1.3) 1. Education: People have equal opportunities in the UK and can access education regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, social background or academic ability. Access to learning applies to all groups and communities, including ethnic minorities, travellers, asylum-seekers, faith communities, young offenders, older people, and people with disabilities or learning difficulties. 2. Criminal Justice Systems and National Security: The police, law courts, tribunals, prison service and other parts of the criminal justice system are also covered by the Equality Act and must not discriminate on the grounds of the protected characteristics. Victims, witnesses, suspects and convicted criminals cannot be discriminated against because of a protected characteristic. 3. As Customers: As businesses are covered by the Equality Act. They can be any size and can be sole traders, partnerships, limited companies or any other legal structure. Goods, facilities and services can be charged for or be provided free of charge. Customers and service users have equal opportunities and cannot usually be discriminated against on the grounds of any of the nine protected characteristics. There can be exceptions, such as separate services for men and women when there may be physical contact. Question 5: Describe three examples of inequality with society. (AC 1.4) 1. Age Equality: Age discrimination is based on a set of stereotypes about the capacities and characteristics of different age groups. Older people are often characterised as non-threatening to the British way of life, friendly, moral and admirable but as less intelligent and less capable. Conversely, views about younger people can sometimes be the opposite, that they are aggressive, out of control, uncaring and threatening. 2. Gender Equality: We recognise that gender inequality is experienced by both women and men, girls and boys and our approach recognises the additional disadvantage faced by transgender people. The level of disadvantage faced will differ depending on factors additional to people’s gender such as age, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, and whether or not they have a disability. Gender inequality is experienced across the full range of public services: in employment; access to public services; access and take-up of health care services; protection from crime and violent assault and use of transport. Although public services have a great impact on the lives of women and men, there are often significant inequalities in the way these services are managed and delivered. 3. Race Equality: People from black and minority ethnic communities experience multiple inequalities: 70 per cent live in the 88 most deprived neighbourhoods of the UK and they are more likely to be poor, with lower incomes spread across larger household sizes. They also continue to experience discrimination, stereotyping and racism. Gypsies and Irish Travellers face particularly acute discrimination as many local public services have low awareness of the needs of these particular communities. These overall patterns also vary between and within different ethnic groups. Question 6: Give three examples of diversity with society for each of these categories. (AC 2.2) Interests:
1. Family - Supporting family members, socialising as a family unit, adoption and fostering, celebrating weddings and childcare.
2. Leisure - Playing sports, supporting teams, travelling, reading groups, music, socialising.
3. Health and Fitness - Gym membership, being a first-aider or first responder, supporting health campaigns, salsa lessons.
1. Codes of behaviour - How to bring up children; alcohol consumption; smoking.
2. Religion - Or having no faith or religion.
3. Marriage and relationships.
3. Pre-school Children.
1. Family Structure - Single parents, blended families or several generations.
2. Employment status - Employed, unemployed, self-employed, working as a volunteer, retired.
3. Location - Of house, job or family.
1. Appearance - Colour of eyes, skin or hair; tattoos or piercings; body shape.
2. Health - Suffering poor health; having addictions; being extremely fit; weight management.
3. Clothing Styles - Hoodies; burkas; headscarves; biker jackets; sportswear; high fashion.
1. Cultural Beliefs - About family values or morality.
2. Cultural Heritage - Based on a group’s historical events and traditions.
3. Ethnicity - Groups with common national or cultural traditions.
Question 7: Describe the contribution that the variations in Question 6 make to the overall diversity of society. (AC 2.3)