Antidiscrimination & health equity:
the importance of language & definitions

19 January 2023

11:00 - 12:00 CET


Although racism and discrimination are fundamental determinants of health, and the evidence for their impact on both physical and mental health across all life stages is becoming more overwhelming by the day, the issue remains largely unrecognised and unconsidered in the public health domain. This is the driving force behind the Thematic Network DisQo, bringing together people and organisations with the shared ambition to address structural racism and discrimination for health equity.

In a series of three webinars, we will discuss and delve deeper into key topics that were identified by network members during DisQo’s kick-off meeting on 3 November 2022, which include for example the importance of a clear language and definitions, the evidence-base and disaggregated equality data, the sharing of best practices at different government levels, and the need to break down silos between sectors.

This first webinar addressed the importance of language as a critical prerequisite for creating a safe space for constructive dialogue. It’s the lack of clear definitions that has the potential to cause misinterpretations or even hostility. Take the words racism and racist, for example, these can be taken very personally, while the intention is to discuss these from their structural and institutional perspective.

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