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October 7, 2021 // Navpreet Mangat  //       //  Opinion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – What We Read and Discussed (September 2021)

In September, Sabina Nessa, a 28-year-old woman, was found tragically killed in a park just minutes away from her home in South London. This deeply unsettling incident comes just months after the horrific kidnapping and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard back in March by a former police officer.

These fatal killings have sparked many conversations surrounding gender-based violence and women’s safety. But it is also important to note that these killings are far from an isolated incident.

According to The Femicide Census report, a woman is killed by a man every three days in the UK, which also raises questions about what’s really being done to end violence against women.

The Metropolitan Police recently introduced measures to prevent violence against women and girls. But will these measures – including waving down a passing bus – keep women safe? Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, Farah Nazeer, says “The police need to urgently address the culture of sexism that exists, prioritise violence against women and girls to the same level as terrorism and utilise their funding to ensure that they tackle the issues of male violence towards women.”

While there has been a great amount of movement and support from community groups, like Reclaim These Streets and End Violence Against Women Coalition, there is unfortunately still a long way to go.

Please see below for some of the DE&I content that we read and discussed in September.

LGBTQ+

LGBT Afghans hide from the Taliban in Kabul

Homosexuality was already an imprisonable offence in Afghanistan but now with the Taliban in power the official punishment under Sharia law is either death by stoning or “wall-toppling” – being buried under rubble. In this article, special correspondent Patrick Strudwick recalls an exclusive zoom call he had with two gay people in Afghanistan about why they fear for their lives under their new rulers, and why they are desperately trying to flee abroad.


GENDER

Facebook accused of gender discrimination in job adverts

Campaign groups have accused Facebook of breaking UK equality laws by allegedly allowing businesses to target job ads based on gender. Global Witness found that 96% of people shown an ad for mechanic vacancies were men, while 95% of job ads were seen by women. The investigation also found that Facebook allowed job adverts which deliberately excluded women, or those over the age of 55, from seeing them.


DISABILITY

Sex Education actor George Robinson gets intimate about disability

George Robinson, who plays Isaac in the Netflix drama Sex Education, talks about how the role of Isaac was originally written for an amputee, but producers committed to re-write the character based around his own disability. He emphasises that disability representation doesn't just come down to seeing disabled characters on-screen, but it has to genuinely reflect the disabled experience.


RACE

Grim echoes of history in images of Haitians at US-Mexico border*

This month, shocking images of horse-mounted officers corralling Haitian migrants along the US-Mexico border were widely shared on social media, evoking dark comparisons to US slavery and the country's historical mistreatment of black people. These widely shared images, taken by an AFP photographer, appear to show US Border Patrol agents on horseback using their reins against Haitian migrants.

*This article contains images that may be disturbing to some readers.


AGE

100-year-old Iris Apfel launches a collaboration with H&M

Now that a 100-year-old is designing a collection for H&M, is ageism over in the fashion industry? Fashion should be a joy, and Iris Apfel is the perfect ambassador for that message – but the question is, will this mainstream adoption of her approach to style be the final nail in the coffin for ageism in the fashion industry too?

Got another 5 mins? Grab a coffee and take a look at what we read and discussed in August here.

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