The weekend 13-14/10/2018 the Young Liberals hosted the 3rd Liberal Laboratory (LibLab) for 2018. The workshop took place in porto Rafti with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
The title of the LibLab 18.3 was “Liberalism, Diversity and Equality” aiming to open the discussion for issues that may be still considered a taboo in the western societies. The participants had the opportunity to approach and study issues of diversity in daily life, examples of stereotypes and ways to fight negative discrimination with a liberal approach. With the help of distinguished trainers they had the opportunity to study patterns of participation and advancement of women, racial minorities, and other groups in social fields where they are underrepresented.
Particular emphasis was placed on actual and current issues, faced by vulnerable and underrepresented groups. Women, immigrants and people with disabilities often live as „second category citizens“ and face the consequences of discrimination. Participants were asked difficult questions which, in many cases, made them test their personal beliefs. In that context, Dr Maria Gianniou, a liberal activist for Women Act discussed how ways to fight stereotyping, support diversity and keep a social behaviour that respects the dignity of all people.
On Saturday’s dinner, we had the pleasure to welcome independent MP Haris Theoharis as the keynote speaker. Mr Theoharis referred to discrimination with the lens of a liberal politician. He also mentioned his actions for supporting certain minorities who suffer from discrimination. The dinner was an opportunity for a vivid dialogue and came out very interesting findings.
On Sunday, Dr Sophia Kanaouti presented a session about diversity in the Media, calling the participants to examine if there is enough freedom. The workshop was closed with the presentations of the working groups that were formed during the workshop and the conclusions of the two-day event, which we collected with in order to publish of an essay of conclusions and proposals.
The participants were familiarized with a range of serious topics, such as women’s position in the labor market, poverty, racism, mass immigration and the Islamic headscarf. The discussion on gender issues have proven that even today the women face gender discrimination in a wide range of social and economic life. At the same time, the modern feminist movement seems to be unable to serve the demands of the times and disfavors the public from the real problems that affect modern women. It is required by all liberal citizens to combat all discrimination against women, but also to marginalize the leftist “oppressor-oppressed” bipolar doctrine.
The Young Liberals unanimously came to the conclusion that education is the key to combat stereotypes. Education should not only be a state but also an individual (family) responsibility, since, according to the data presented, the stereotypes begin to be created from home and even at younger ages. Last, the political world should co-op with civil society agents and the citizens to provide a friendly and inclusive enironment for every citizen. Racism and degregation have no place in Europe!