Diverse Magazine Group

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THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN RACE AND FAITH

The ruling that a Jewish school’s admissions criteria is unlawful raises questions about the scope of race discrimination… It’s been an interesting week for the Race Relations Act. I won’t make any friends by mentioning the admissions criteria of a Jewish school – declared unlawful by the court of appeal today – in the same breath as the BNP, but both raise fundamental questions about the acceptable scope of discrimination based on race. M, a 12-year-old boy, was refused admission to JFS – a school in North London which describes itself as having “a religious character in accordance with the...

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THREE CHEERS FOR NEW EQUALITY BILL

Three cheers for a Bill of rights for the old, gay, disabled, female and taken-for-granted… We have seen times and the law change attitudes. The new Equality Bill is the next step Some people just don’t get it, do they? They fulminate against a new and elaborate government Bill, almost as a knee-jerk reaction. They rage against proposals that, in the calm light of day, taken one by one, they would endorse. They use short-sighted criticism as a means to offload all the bile swilling around the other issues of government – fiscal and monetary, business and investment. Yes, there...

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BRITAIN’S FIRST BLACK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF A LEADING COMPANY

The new man from the Pru – 46, an Arsenal fan, and Britain’s first black chief executive of a leading company. Appointment seen as big step forward for equality; Chief executive will be paid £875,000 plus bonus It took more than 200 years for the US to elect a black president. It took Britain a bit longer to install its first black chief executive of a leading company. Tidjane Thiam is a former government minister who survived a military coup, a one-time management consultant and a serious Arsenal fan. Yesterday it was announced he will take over as chief executive...

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HEADSCARVES: THE WRONG BATTLE

Excluding Muslim women who wear headscarves from the public sphere does nothing for gender equality or peaceful integration Throughout Europe, over the past decade, there has been a loud – and at times openly xenophobic – debate about whether a Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf while on duty in a government job. Various types of bans have been enacted in several countries, including France, Germany, and Turkey. Some feminists seek these bans in the name of helping Muslim women, whom they often see as uniformly oppressed. Anti-immigration politicians seek these policies because they see people who...

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EQUAL PAY IS A STEP TOO FAR IN RECESSION

The body responsible for safeguarding equality in the UK will tell the government that the economic climate is too fragile to impose equal pay reviews on business. With women’s pay on average 17% less than men’s and the gap increasing, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, formed 18 months ago, will say that the reviews should be excluded from the forthcoming equalities bill when it publishes its recommendations. Summarising the strategy, the (former) chief executive of the EHRC, Nicola Brewer, said an entirely new equal pay act was needed, and called for “radical reform in the future.” This would be a...

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MEN, WOMEN: DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM?

I suppose I became a feminist when I witnessed domestic violence at close proximity. Within Asian families, I’m sad to say, violence against women can be rife. How that statistically compares with white families I don’t know, but I’m pretty confident in saying there are deep-rooted cultural traditions that value men more than women and let them get away with minor and major sexism against women. I’m going to play the race card here for a bit, because I think it’s worth doing. Asian men are terribly bad at feminism. I say this not because I derive some sadistic pleasure...

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FACING DISABILITY ON TV

It is parents who can’t face disability on TV Complaints that the children’s presenter Cerrie Burnell is ‘scaring children’ reveal an alarming prejudice towards disability … from adults Nine official complaints have so far been lodged with the BBC – plus many more blog postings – about 29-year-old children’s television presenter Cerrie Burnell, who was born with only one hand. Parents have complained that they cannot let their children watch her because the sight will “possibly cause sleep problems”, that she is scaring toddlers, and that they are being forced to discuss the issue of disability with their offspring before...

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CELEBRATING INTELLIGENT WOMEN

The University Challenge sensation Gail Trimble is not the first intelligent woman to face prejudice and slander Some men define themselves by which part of the female anatomy they prefer: breasts, legs, arse, etc. Personally, I’m more a brains and face kind of guy. I’ve always been attracted to intelligent women with beautiful facial features, and my wife ticks those boxes for me. Gail Trimble, the grand boffin of University Challenge who seemed to have a Google implant in her brain, has ventured into relatively uncharted territory for brainy women: she has become a media sensation. Not only have her...

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ENIGMATIC OR ENRICHED?

Heritage I prefer to use the term “Mixed Heritage” to describe myself. There is actually only one human race and we are all part of it, “mixed race” may imply that there are many races within the one human race and to me that also implies and reinforces the implied hierarchy. I have heritages from several parts of the human race none is more important than the other, they all just contribute to who I am. Language is extremely powerful and it is the societal context in which I live that makes it more comfortable for others to describe me...

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APPARENTLY, I’M NOT BRITISH

According to the Daily Mail, even second- and third-generation children born in the UK are not truly ‘British’ In another lifetime, a few years ago, when I used to run messageboards primarily populated by British Asians, we were occasionally invaded by National Front and BNP trolls. They told us to “go back to your own country”, and we retorted that we were born here and had as much right to call ourselves British as they did. Their retort almost inevitably was: “Just because a dog is born in a stable doesn’t make it a horse”. But who really takes lessons...