5 Ways to promote equality and support diversity in Wales

8th March 2019

Action 1: Understand privilege and use your position to support those with fewer rights.

It’s okay to have privilege. However, it is important to understand it, and understand that people who don’t have the same privilege as you face barriers and discrimination in society, simply because of their gender, the colour of their skin, or their sexual orientation. In the workplace Women have financial disadvantages due to their gender, for example.

Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because you are not personally affected by it. A right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others. It means that under the exact same set of circumstances you’re in, life would be harder without your privilege.

The more privileges you have, the more likely you are to be listened to and taken seriously, so you should use what you have to fight for the rights of more marginalised, less privileged people. Remember – more rights for others doesn’t mean fewer rights for you!

Read our State of the Nation report to fully understand the current situation in Wales:

Action 2: Engage with politics and ensure your views are represented

Assembly Members have powers to shape most areas of life in Wales, including education, health, housing and more. Every person in Wales is represented by five Assembly Members (AMs).

Constituents are free to engage with any of their five Assembly Members and everyone has the right to contact their local AM to discuss issues affecting them.

Find out who your local AMs are and how to contact them here

On international women’s day 2018, then First Minister Carwyn Jones committed to making the Welsh Government a feminist government and Wales the safest country in the world to be a woman. To make this vision a reality, the First Minister stated he would begin a review of gender equality in Wales, to determine what the Welsh Government is doing well, what it could do better and what can be learnt from around the world.

Chwarae Teg has been working with Welsh Government on this review, and we want to hear from women on the issues that matter most to them as a woman living in Wales. What works well? What could be improved? What obstacles do women face in day-to-day life?

Add your voice to this work by attending one of our gender equality review events or responding to our survey:

Gender Equality Review – Roadmap Priorities

8th Mar 2019
8th Mar 2019
8th Mar 2019

Action 3: Join forces! Collective action is powerful

Join a union, forum or network to ensure your voice is heard, and you add your voice to those less able to use theirs. Movements such as the #MeToo campaign give women a strong voice to make real societal change.

At work, when a group of employees act and speak together, their employer has to listen. This could be through something like an Employee Forum or a formal Union. Unions push managers to make workplaces more inclusive for women, LGBT workers, Black and minority ethnic workers, older workers and disabled workers. When there’s a strong trade union, women are far less likely to face problems at work while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work.

To explore your options visit

tuc.org.uk/join-union

Action 4: Call out prejudice and discrimination, and be an ambassador for change.

It can be tempting to rationalize prejudiced and outdated behaviour, to turn a blind eye, or believe that it will sort itself out, and not confront it. This is dangerous. If someone is knowingly behaving like this unchallenged, they can be emboldened and become worse. If someone is not aware that their views or behaviour might be prejudiced, you calling them out on it might give them an opportunity to learn before it becomes a bigger problem.

Prejudice or discrimination is when a person’s actions have an unnecessary adverse impact on one or more individuals with a certain characteristic.

It’s important to promote the benefits of diversity, and the way that different opinions and perspectives can enrich organisations. If a new member of the team starts affecting the status quo with a different approach, or questioning the way things have always been done, this should be welcomed rather than treated defensively. Even if you don’t agree with their new way of doing things, it’s an important opportunity to reflect on the reasons you take the current approach.

At an organisational level, diversity and inclusion are key to encouraging better team performance, improving your ability to hire, and can even positively affect your bottom line. Chwarae Teg works with businesses on effective recruitment, retention and performance management.

Find out more about our business programme:

Action 5: Support other activists

Supporting others as they stand up for equality and diversity could be one of the most powerful things you can do. One click on social media can bring a tweet, article, or video to a wider audience in a matter of seconds, and can open up both the audience, and the organisation to new opportunities in terms of funding, networks and lots more

Stepping outside of social expectations can be daunting, but encouraging people to stand up for themselves, or to go for what they want, goes a long way. Not everyone can get involved with activism, but donating or promoting others on social media in support can make a difference.

It’s important that we celebrate, recognise and support the women who are striving to make a difference. At Chwarae Teg we host an annual award ceremony to celebrate the amazing women in Wales, standing up for their rights and the rights of other women.

So, this international women’s day, think about the women in your life who inspire you and nominate them for a Womenspire Award: