By Nadeya Hussain –
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination – Noun
“The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.”
In the most basic terms, discrimination refers to the exclusion of people based on characteristics that should not matter.
Despite our progress, discrimination is still prevalent in many walks of life, including educational institutions, workplaces, living standards and lifestyles.
According to research conducted by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in 2016, it found that in a survey of 3000 mothers and mums-to-be, three-quarters of working mums have faced discrimination for having children.
In another survey done by Construction News in 2018, they found that 59% of their respondents had heard the term ‘gay’ used as an insult in the workplace, and 28% of LGBT+ respondents had experienced offensive or inappropriate comments being made about their gender or sexuality at work.
SME conducted research and found that 26% of all workers polled (out of 2000) felt they had previously been discriminated against on the grounds of their gender at work.
Stop-and-search rates between 2018 and 2019 show that black people are now nearly 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than white people.
These are only a few statistics that demonstrate the existence of discrimination within society today.
Different kinds of discrimination
There are four ways discrimination is present which you may be unaware of, such as:
As a result of direct discrimination, a person may be given preference based on or treated less favourably, such as gender, age or sexuality.
Indirect discrimination is harder to detect and usually unintentional. It happens when a particular policy may put you at a disadvantage at any time.
Known as ‘unwanted conduct’ in relation to a particular characteristic. If that behaviour violates a person’s dignity or creates an unwelcomed or hostile environment, that is harassment. It can occur through behaviours, comments or abuse.
This term may be misused, however, victimisation occurs when there’s a detrimental treatment for protected acts.
This may include a loss, disadvantage, damage, harm. If you have given evidence about discrimination and suffered from detrimental treatment, you have been victimised.
The public in Kirklees, Huddersfield was asked a few questions related to discrimination, their views, and their knowledge of the issue.
Among the questions we asked was, “What does discrimination mean to you?” and we received a wide array of knowledgeable and powerful responses.
One member of the public described discrimination as: “Feeling like an outsider in a community, made to feel different for an irrelevant reason”
Another said it was about: “Separating someone for a quality they can’t control such as race and gender”
The public was also asked to respond to the following question: How can discrimination be addressed? A few key points include:
• Make events big variety within races and cultures, make it diverse
• Help each other more
• Community-based events to celebrate their backgrounds and heritage as we do live in a multicultural town
• Understanding our neighbours
Below you can view our complete video, which includes responses from a wide variety of people covering a multitude of issues and personal experiences.
In response to the video, we want to know what discrimination means to you and how it can be tackled to build a stronger community. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.