Philosophy head gives expert opinion on caste discrimination in the UK

The Course Leader of Philosophy in the School of Humanities at the University of Wolverhampton features in an independent documentary to give expert opinion on caste discrimination in the UK.

Dr Meena Dhanda, Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics was interviewed for the documentary “Caste Aside” produced by Priyanka Mogul. The documentary is due to be screened in London on 23rd January 2018 by The Warwick Policy Lab and Warwick in London, part of the University of Warwick. Dr Dhanda will participate in a panel discussion following the screening.

Meena arrived in the UK from Punjab, India in 1987 with an award of the Commonwealth Scholarship for her doctoral work in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford University. She was a Rhodes Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, before taking up a full-time lecturing position at the University of Wolverhampton in 1992, progressing to a Readership (Associate Professorship) in 2010.

In 2013-14, as a Principal Investigator of UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) project ‘Caste in Britain’, Dr Dhanda led a consortium of academic experts from five leading universities, producing two substantial reports - internationally noted and widely discussed – on the proposed inclusion of a provision in the Equality Act 2010, to protect British citizens against caste discrimination.

There is a difference of opinion amongst diaspora communities on whether, and how, legal protection against caste discrimination must be ensured.

Dr Dhanda said: “I am excited about the documentary and waiting to see how the heated debate on this contested topic is captured in it. In September 2017, it was good to see the Government Equalities Office finally conclude a public consultation on caste discrimination in the UK. My EHRC reports formed a key reference source in this consultation”.

“Amazingly, the public consultation on caste discrimination got 13000 responses. I earnestly hope the government now takes decisive steps to fulfil its duty to protect sufferers of caste discrimination. I have heard many painful stories of caste prejudice in the UK in my decade long research on the topic. Legal protection for sufferers of caste discrimination is long overdue, and, as I have argued in my publications, the best way to provide protection is to explicitly state it in the UK Equality Act 2010.”

The free documentary screening and panel discussion is taking place on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 starting at 5.45 pm until 8.30 pm at Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AG.  Booking is essential.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 20th January 2018

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