Equality is one of the central ideals of a liberal democratic society; Everyone is created free and equal and should be treated as such by law. Equality is also the route to prosperity and ensuring that every generation will be better off than their parents. It is about a universal commitment to individual dignity, an open market of ideas, and a belief in human progress brought about by debate and reform.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.Article one, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
There are significant problems in human society; extreme poverty and widening inequality, the need for universal health care and education, and a changing egology brought about by human industry. People need the freedom to choose how to live and a commitment to the common interest for these issues to be addressed.
A competitive meritocracy creates prosperity by ensuring that the best ideas win, but it is often closed to the poorest in society, and there are barriers to entry that need to be removed. Providing people with individual dignity and self-reliance generates sources of new thinking and better ideas. Society needs to value equality, diversity, and inclusion and understand that different perspectives are essential for progress.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion
The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights set out in 1948 lists thirty articles providing an international standard of equality. Within the UK, The Equality Act 2010 lists specific characteristics that are protected under law:
- gender reassignment
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or on maternity leave
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Equality: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.Oxford Languages
Diversity: the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.Oxford Languages
Inclusion: The practise or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.Oxford languages
A commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion provides a fair society where everyone has the chance to create the life they want and have a positive impact on society. Institutions like universities must provide access to opportunities for anybody prepared to put in the hard work to create a better life. They also must provide society with a broad and diverse range of skilled individuals with unique ideas and perspectives to solve the complex problems we face.