Why the case for equality and inclusion is clear, but changes are only incremental

4th June 2015

Ireland’??s recent referendum on same-sex marriage was powerful evidence that time is an integral component in our journey towards greater equality and dignity for all. Only 20 years ago, we would never have imagined the reality of what was achieved at the weekend.

Despite progress, however, there can sometimes be pockets of fear, ignorance, and misinformation. Many equality challenges have been won, but others remain on-going. Everyone should be able to live, work, and love in dignity.

The economic case, the social justice case and the moral case for greater equality are clear. Robust legislation is important, but it’??s the implementation and delivery of equal and fair outcomes on the ground that really matters, and there is much work to do before we can all live in dignity and experience equal life chances.

Advancements in equality and diversity outcomes are incremental, and there isn’??t really an??end’?point, because there is always some kind of injustice to put right; an actual or potential inequality to deal with. We have to keep our eyes open and remain motivated and intolerant to inequality.

The Equality Act 2010 offers protection in respect of the following equality characteristics (or strands): age, disability, gender, race, religion, marital or civil partnership status, maternity or pregnancy, sexuality. Of these, I believe disability needs much greater attention at a micro level than is currently the case.

There is physical impairment, hidden impairment (MS, HIV, cancer, diabetes etc.), sensory impairment (hearing and sight), mental health, and learning impairment, and they all need specific attention.

For example, last week I made an appearance on Arise News with James Wright, who had me talking about obesity and assisted suicide. Watch our discussion in the clip below.

These impairments are often compounded by an inappropriate obstacle or environment, and yet too few people understand this.

This is to be expected but can usually be dealt with by training, counselling, or even just someone to chat to in private about our concerns. Whatever the issue might be; whether it’??s concerning same-sex marriage or any diversity or inclusion-related issue, Marshall’??s are here to help.

As an Equality & Diversity specialist, I will be happy to advise and support. In addition to my direct support, Marshall ACM also offer elearning and face-to-face options. Take a look at our Equality & Diversity courses or get in touch to find out how we can help you.

I look forward to working with you towards a brighter, more equal and inclusive future.

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