Why Ideas Like Diversity, Equity, And Inclusivity Need To Be Taught At A Young Age

We live in an unequal, unjust society. Could our younger generations, more clued in to equity and equality, be key to our betterment?

There are some things that we, living in a “civilized society”, should be able to take for granted. Clean air, safe streets, pure water, freedom of expression are just some examples.

Of course, there is a difference between an ideal and a realistic situation, a glaring gap between “what is” and “what should be”. Social equality is just another example.

World Day of Social Justice – 20th February

At its 62nd session, in November 2007, The General Assembly of the United Nations declared that February 20th would be recognized as World Day of Social Justice every year. In simple words, this day would be internationally dedicated to promoting social justice through focusing on issues like gender equality, inclusion, equal opportunities, human rights and so on.

As societies around the world declare themselves to be more and more “civilized” or “developed” we have to start questioning the real significance of these words. What does it mean to be developed? Or progressive? Or even civilized?

As much as we may claim to be many of these things, we cannot deny instances to the contrary that are increasingly becoming commonplace, examples of gross injustice or inequality, which would make any reasonable human-being wonder if we aren’t actually, in reality, regressing instead!

Can Gen Z and Alpha have the answer to this?

I have always believed that every cloud has a silver lining and I see one in this otherwise discouraging scenario as well. That silver lining comes in the form of our children and UN DESA’s World Youth Report would agree with me. With a natural generosity of spirit and a keenness to explore and question, this younger generation may actually hope to take these fundamental value systems which can form the basis of a just, fair society, for granted.

Add to that the fact that schools are rapidly including these value systems in their curriculums, in fact, the significance of ideals like diversity, equity and inclusivity are actually being systematically taught at an age when we honestly, didn’t even understand what these words really meant. That’s heartening though of course, much of that needs to be reiterated at home as well.

To be able to support these institutions in their endeavour to create fair, responsible citizens who believe in these ideals, would be a privilege, wouldn’t it?

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A few studies that support this perception

A case in point is a recent report from France’s high council for gender equality, chaired by Brigitte Grésy, which clearly states that 80% of 18-30 year olds believe that their generation is less sexist than previous generations. Another Glassdoor study on employer attractiveness confirmed that more than 80% of young graduates would be unwilling to join a company that did not encourage equal pay for men and women.

Well, if the millennial generation has taken palpable progressive steps to achieve a better social balance, then Generation Alpha is bound to do even better. In a nutshell, this future generation may truly be “Generation Equality” and might actually change the world. If we let them.

Image source: a still from the film Newton

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About the Author

Rrashima Swaarup Verma

Rrashima is a senior corporate analyst with over 20 years of experience in the corporate sector. She is also a prolific writer, novelist and poet and her articles, stories and poems are regularly published in read more...

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