Let's improve as a society, Indians

Participation and cohesion in a diverse society

There has always been social inequality in terms of income, wealth, education and social participation, which we define as participation in life in the community. Reasons for inequality include social or ethnic origin and religious affiliation. While the differences in Germany decreased for a long time, they have increased again in the past two decades. Data on income distribution show that the poverty rate has risen continuously since 1991 and that the group of the “persistently poor” is also growing. Poverty is strongly associated with a lower level of education. For example, children from families with a low socio-economic status or from families with low educational qualifications also usually acquire lower educational qualifications. This means that from birth onwards you have a poorer chance of participating in social life. Easier access to education and better professional qualifications reduce social inequality.

However, previous attempts to achieve this have shown too little effect. That is why the cooperation between the various educational institutions and with child and youth welfare must be improved and the view of parents and families expanded. In addition, politicians must invest more personnel and money where the need is greatest.

People with a migrant background often have a low socio-economic status and experience discrimination. This is not just a problem for those affected. If entire groups are disadvantaged and discriminated against, for example in the labor market, this divides society even more. Problems accumulate in certain neighborhoods and conflicts arise. It is important to meet this on site. Two things are necessary for this: on the one hand, the will of each individual to change something. On the other hand, local decision-makers have to build structures for long-term social integration and promote local coexistence in a diverse society.

In addition to social integration, integration into the labor market is a challenge. Because it is shown time and again that not only new immigrants, but also people who are already living in the second, third or fourth generation in Germany have fewer access and advancement opportunities - even though they sometimes have the same educational qualifications as Germans without a migration background.

This growing social inequality endangers social cohesion. This encompasses various aspects from personal experiences, personal commitment to others, an individual sense of belonging to expectations of a positive future. Cohesion is the central expression of an intact community based on solidarity - and thus for a functioning democratic society.

Studies show: In order to maintain social cohesion, it is important that broad sections of the population accept diversity. Encounters and dialogue between different groups enable deeper insights into mutual realities of life. In this way, people can break down prejudices and strengthen mutual trust. Civil society actors can play a central role here with their commitment.

Structurally, too, it is necessary that there is more acceptance or a different approach to diversity and that disadvantage and discrimination are reduced. This applies in particular to people who work in a sector that is sensitive to social participation and social cohesion - for example in health or education as well as in the judiciary and the police. Participation and cohesion are only possible in the long term if everyone can deal with diversity and people are no longer discriminated against - for example on the basis of their ethnic, cultural and social origin.

To ensure that something changes in society, we work closely with politics, administration, business and civil society. The basis is a trustworthy network of these actors.