|Understanding Prejudice : attitudes towards minorities
|Valentine, G, McDonald, I
OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL means removing the barriers that still remain for some in society and maximising the potential of all our citizens, whatever their background. We have made lots of progress in recent years, but we must not be complacent – there is still much work for us to do to achieve the culture change necessary to ensure a fair and more inclusive society. Happily, Britain is a country in which, for the vast majority of citizens, difference is a matter for celebration. However, to eradicate the prejudice and negative attitudes that still exist, we need to understand the nature of prejudice. Just as importantly, we need to understand the links between the different types of prejudice that are, sadly, still experienced by some people. I am pleased that Stonewall has recognised the importance of these links. Understanding Prejudice has the potential to serve as a valuable tool in informing the development of public policy. It exemplifies exactly the sort of ‘cross-strand’ approach to the equality agenda that will be demonstrated by the Government’s proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights. This body will have a remit to challenge discrimination, champion equality of opportunity and promote human rights. It will also, for the first time, provide institutional support for laws outlawing workplace and vocational training discrimination on grounds of religion and belief, sexual orientation and – in time – age. When I read the report, I was heartened to see that, despite the prejudices that exist in some areas, there is still a respect for difference and the rights of others in Britain. That is what we all want and are working towards to ensure that all sectors of society in Britain feel included, valued and respected.
Understanding Prejudice : attitudes towards minorities