In an inclusive world, all people are able to contribute to and take advantage of rising prosperity over their life courses. Unfortunately, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability status, age, sexual orientation or other stigmatizations still exclude people from societies. These people do not enjoy equal access to markets, services and political, social and physical spaces.
Social inclusion is the process of improving the ability, opportunity and dignity of people and groups, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society. It aims to empower poor and marginalized people to take advantage of burgeoning global opportunities.
To achieve social equality and inclusion requires time and commitment. Education is an important agent to stimulate inclusion through respect, dialogue and mutual learning. Leaders – whether religious, political or other champions of change – can help excluded groups acquire voice and confidence.
Social equality is an essential feature of fighting poverty. Shared prosperity for all people can only be built if no individual or group remains excluded from development gains. We should ensure that no person—regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race, or status— is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities. A rising tide should lift all boats.