Inclusion: Why we still need to talk about it

Girls2Leaders webinar will take place on 27 July at 5pm on Zoom

Benedetta Albiero

Searching for and identifying the literal meaning of the word inclusion is a quite straightforward exercise: the dictionary indeed offers a precise definition of the term, which represents “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure”. In this exact interpretation, the word inclusion is being deployed in many different subjects, from mathematics to biology. It can be used in rhetoric, but at the same time, it is a common expression in everyday language.

However, difficulties arise when shifting the focus on the social dimension of the term: in such case, the word inclusion comes to signify “the practice or policy providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups”. To translate into practice, such expression, efforts and commitments are required, and discrimination – the specific opposite of inclusion – based on race, gender, culture, religion, and disability needs to be overcome.

Fully applying what can be labelled as the social side of inclusion is, therefore, a choice, a political one, which seems not to be considered in the current environment. In fact, according to the data compiled by the World Bank, 24% of the total population in Europe is at risk of poverty and exclusion. Widening the scope, the United Nations has warned that “girls and women of all ages with any form of disability are generally among the more vulnerable and marginalized of society”. Discussions and debates are thus essential in order to establish concrete actions and plans on how to achieve real inclusion. We still need to talk about it because there is still much to do, as the figures abovementioned suggest.

One occasion to tackle social inclusion, in all its nuanced perspectives, will be the Girls2Leaders webinar organised on Wednesday, 27th of July, at 5pm on Zoom. Selected speakers will intervene on the theme, offering insights and professional and personal views on how to include marginalized individuals in social and political settings. Members of the audience will have the chance to ask questions and engage in meaningful yet spontaneous exchanges. The overall objective of the webinar is to formulate a proposal – to be submitted to the relevant authorities – to forward inclusion in all circumstances.

Anyone wanting to participate can register through the following link:

The Girls2Leaders Campaign is a collaboration between  Business and Professional Women (Valletta) Malta and the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society using as a roadmap BPW’s Charter of the Girls’ Rights. The campaign is being produced by members of the Children & Young Persons’ Council within the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society and the Young BPW Europe.