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The Belgian Equality Body, Unia, developed the Diversity Barometer to support an evidence-based approach to tackling discrimination and inequalities, according to its Triennial Strategic Plan 2011-2013.
It aims to collect and disseminate data and analysis to inform public authorities on the prevalence and complexity of discrimination so that it can be tackled more effectively.
The grounds of discrimination surveyed by the barometer are ethnic origin, nationality, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief and socio-economic status.
A feasibility study set out the theoretical framework. It was then decided to follow an integrated approach, combining three different dimensions of discrimination. Each was analysed using a specific methodology:
Measuring attitudes assesses the distance/proximity between different groups of people surveyed, according to protected characteristics.
Aggregate situation tests measure the extent of discrimination at a given time and in a given sector, such as access to employment or to rental housing.
Statistical analysis of administrative data can provide additional information on the social status and participation of these groups in different areas of life: employment, housing, or education.
For example, for education, researchers draw data from Department of Education records, which contain information about students’ nationality, language, scholastic achievements and other variables. The participation of groups is measured in terms of their distribution over different types (general, technical, vocational) and levels of education. This is followed by an analysis of the possible causes for this distribution.
All variables surveyed by the barometers are disaggregated by gender. In addition, the education barometer analyses the intersections of socio-economic status and ethnicity.
Periodical reports focusing a different sector each time. After the release of reports on employment (2012), housing (2014) and education (2018), a new cycle will start.
Email: info (at) unia (dot) be