Our Watch Words “SOCIAL EQUITY & INCLUSION”
“Social Equity? You mean Social Equality”- One hears it often. Everyone is convinced and committed to social equality. Questions are raised on social equity –its nature and relevance. Another side of the coin to promote social equality is social inclusion.
Development has recognized social exclusion as the process of keeping individuals and groups of people from participating fully in the society in which they live. Intergenerational poverty and under-development of the concerned social groups, enduring inequalities and conflicts in society and under-performance of the nation as a whole are recognized outcomes. Social equity and inclusion are important values, objectives and strategies to address social exclusion. They are pre-conditions and pathways to realizing social equality.
Social Equity includes all those essential and necessary steps to be put in place to create a level playing field for empowerment of the socially excluded, marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. These constitute legislations, policies, programmes, provisions and budgets to:
- Eliminate barriers in accessing and benefitting from development resources on the basis of caste, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, disability or any other.
- Provide special/additional measures to overcome historical and current disadvantages.
- Ensure institutional mechanisms for participatory planning, implementation and monitoring.
Social inclusion constitutes measures undertaken to promote positive image and engagement with socially excluded communities incorporating their values and knowledge, broad-streaming society from its current narrow confines of mainstream.
Social Equity and Inclusion and closely associated with human rights and social justice. It recognizes that every individual has inherent worth and dignity and state holds responsibility to respect, protect and promote individual and group rights and development. Further, emerging knowledge spheres as multi-dimensional poverty and inter-sectoral social exclusion validates the need for serious engagement with social equity and inclusion in promoting rights and development.
Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion has emerged from and has long experience of working with socially excluded communities in India. It was initiated with the express purpose to highlight issues of social exclusion and promote and advocate for social equity and inclusion as the basis for social equality and justice.