In a bid to make more gendered words are approved by different communities, the BC government has removed 600 instances from 15 ministries.
“Language matters. It allows people to feel recognized and affirmed,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“By upholding inclusive language, our government is taking steps to protect British Columbians’ human rights. We believe outdated language that prevents people from being seen for who they are should be removed to help tackle gender bias.”
A BC government release states: “Gendered words have been changed to inclusive language that acknowledges gender equity and diversity. For example, terms like “he” or “she,” “brother” and “wife” have been updated with more neutral language to consider all gender identities.”
The government said the changes were made to ensure that all British Columbians have equal access to government services, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, race or cultural beliefs.
“These amendments are an important step forward as we continue to build an inclusive British Columbia by reframing the language we use,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance.
“It is our goal to remove barriers that stop people from reaching their full potential. This includes updating regulations, policies and programs to reflect all British Columbians.”
The move was applauded by various groups.
“These important updates signal that all folks across gender diversity are valued in our social fabric here in B.C.,” said Elijah Zimmerman, executive director, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.
“Being intentional with inclusive language is a form of welcoming and belonging, and a positive step toward uplifting gender-diverse experiences.
”Government will continue to work to identify and address remaining gendered language within B.C.’s policies.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard