2. What is social cohesion and what is the department doing to promote a cohesive society?
The department defines social cohesion as the degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression itself among individuals and communities.
In terms of this definition, a community or society is cohesive to the extent that the inequalities, exclusions and disparities based on ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, age, disability or any other distinctions which engender divisions distrust and conflict are reduced and/or eliminated in a planned and sustained manner. Community members and citizens should be active participants working together for the attainment of shared goals designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.
The Department has a programme on community conversations/dialogues which are aimed at communities to share their past and present experiences with regard to social cohesion. In these platforms communities are encouraged to identify projects that help in nurturing, understanding and cooperation between different communities.