The 10 Types of Discrimination You Should Be Aware Of

Last Update on June 15, 2023 : Published on June 15, 2023

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Quoted by Martin Luther King Jr, this quote describes the cruelty discrimination brings to an inclusive and diverse society. Unfortunately, discrimination has become a reality in today’s world. Did you know that globally, women continue to experience gender discrimination and inequality including in the fields of employment, education, and political settings?

Not just that, but according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was found that approximately 15% of the global population faces some type of disability, and is often subjected to discrimination and social exclusion.

This unequal and unfair treatment can affect an individual’s access to equal education, fair employment, and even healthcare. Discrimination can also be considered a social disadvantage to health as it impacts not only the social life of a person but other aspects of health and well-being.

While new laws are being introduced to protect people from facing discrimination and prejudice, unfair treatment is still given to people who fail to meet the standards set by society. To fight discrimination, we need to recognize the types of discrimination that many people face.

In this blog, we’ll explore the ten common types of discrimination and how to cope with them!

10 Types of Discrimination in Everyday Life


1.Age Discrimination

Discrimination based on age can also be called ageism where a person is treated differently because of their age – either being too young or too old. This form of discrimination can impact a person’s employment opportunities, healthcare, and social perception.

Age discrimination often originates from the idea that old people are too traditional and inflexible to change whereas young people are discriminated against because of their inability to focus on tradition and being too careless.

2.Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination is when a person is treated unfairly because of their race, ethnicity, or even their skin color. When someone is faced with racial discrimination, they are subjected to prejudice, bias, and stereotypes that can lead to unequal treatment and unfairness. More often than not, racial prejudice can leave long-lasting wounds on a person’s psyche.

An example of racial discrimination can include mistreating people and not giving them equal rights based on their race or skin color.

3.Gender Discrimination

When a person is discriminated against because of their chosen or given gender/sex, then it can be gender discrimination. After racial discrimination, gender discrimination is one of the most common types of discrimination that people often face. This form of discrimination can manifest in different ways including unequal pay, unequal career opportunities, and assuming stereotypes based on their gender roles.

4.Disability Discrimination

When a person with disability experiences unfair treatment, prejudice, and bias in many aspects of their lives, then it can be said that they face disability discrimination. This type of discrimination can include physical disability, sensory disability, mental disability, and intellectual disability.

Some examples of disability discrimination can include unfair treatment given to autistic people or people with Down syndrome. Even people with bipolar disorder, diabetes, and schizophrenia may face disability discrimination.

5.Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination is another form of discrimination and prejudice that occurs when a person is mistreated based on their religious beliefs or practices. This can cause exclusion from society, harassment, and limitations on religious freedom.

People who practice Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism are the most affected by this type of discrimination. Under this discrimination, a person may be mocked or punished for believing in their religion.

6.Sexual Orientation Discrimination

When a person is subjected to discrimination and prejudice based on their sexual orientation, i.e., being a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer individual, then it can be termed sexual or sexual orientation discrimination.

A person who is a victim of sexual orientation discrimination may be treated unfairly and unequally as well as can be denied the right to employment and even access to healthcare.

7.Nationality or Ethnicity Discrimination

When we talk about nationality or ethnicity discrimination, it includes being mistreated for a person’s country of origin or culture. This type of discrimination can often lead to xenophobia, unfair stereotypes, and becoming an outcast in society.

A person’s ancestry can also become the cause of nationality or ethnicity discrimination. When a person is faced with this type of discrimination, they may be denied equal employment rights and may even be harassed for their accent and cultural background.

8.Parental Discrimination

Yes, parental discrimination is a thing too! This discrimination occurs when a person’s status as a parent is questioned. Here, having children as well as not having children can become a cause of discrimination and prejudice. A person or parent can face discrimination if they are;

  • Biological parent
  • Step-parent
  • Adoptive parent
  • Foster parent, or
  • Custodian/Guardian of a ward

Even grandparent(s) can face prejudice if they stand in for the role of a parent in case the parent in the name is an absentee figure in the child’s life. Examples of parental discrimination can include being fired for being pregnant, reducing a person’s pay and work hours because they are a parent, excluding a person because of their parental status, denying promotions to people because of their parental status, etc.

9.Language Discrimination

Another common type of discrimination is language discrimination. It involves mistreating people unfairly and unequally because of their language proficiency or even accent. This form of discrimination is often faced by immigrants from another country whose native language is different from the former.

A common example of language discrimination can include treating a Latin or an Asian person differently because their first language isn’t English.

10.Socio-economic Discrimination

Another common type of discrimination is socio-economic discrimination where a person is treated unequally because of their social or financial status. This kind of prejudice and bias can often become a hindrance to education opportunities, access to basic healthcare, equal employment opportunities, and even access to basic resources important to maintain a steady livelihood.

The Impact of Discrimination on Well-Being

When you’re subjected to discrimination in your everyday life, then it can leave a negative impact on your well-being. Some of the common effects can include;

  • Psychological Distress: Discrimination can cause high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. The act of discrimination can take a toll on a person’s well-being and can worsen existing fear and anxiety.
  • Poor Self-Esteem: When you’re faced with discrimination constantly, it can take away your sense of self-worth and confidence, leaving you a husk of yourself with no self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and self-doubt.
  • Risk of Mental Health Disorders: Discrimination can also put a person at a high risk of developing mental health disorders such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and substance abuse disorders.
  • Social Isolation: Prolonged discrimination can also lead to social loneliness and isolation as a person is constantly at risk of facing prejudice in social interactions.
  • Internalized Oppression: Discrimination can also cause negativity to internalize and turn into self-blame, self-judgment, self-hatred, and even internalized homophobia.
  • Suicidal Thoughts: When the discrimination you face is severe and persistent, then it can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors as the constant prejudice can cause hopelessness and emotional distress.

Coping With Discrimination in Everyday Life
Coping With Discrimination

1.Educate Yourself

Educate yourself about the rights and laws that protect you against discrimination and use the resources and helplines available to you. Understanding the issues related to discrimination can help you fight it and make you feel empowered.

2.Reach Out For Support

If you’re facing discrimination, then it is suggested that you reach out for support. Friends, family, and support groups can provide enough social support to help you fight discrimination. You can also surround yourself with inspiring people and create a support system that you can fall back on when needed.

3.Focus on Self-Care

Make sure you take care of yourself to keep your mental health going strong. You can engage in activities that help you relax such as exercise, yoga, or meditation, and hobbies that make you happy. You need to focus on your self-care to fight discrimination without faltering.

4.Seek Legal Help

If you feel like you’ve been a victim of discrimination unfairly, then seek legal advice from an attorney to learn what can be done next, legally. They can also help you figure out the rights and laws that go against discrimination and protect you.

5.Spread Awareness

Another thing you can do to cope with discrimination is to spread awareness about prejudice by sharing your stories and experiences with others. Engage in conversations that advocate change and challenge biases as well as stereotypes. By spreading awareness, you can contribute to a more inclusive society.

6.Speak Against Discrimination

Speak up when you or someone else faces discrimination. Staying quiet isn’t helpful so practice assertive communication to respond to discrimination with confidence. Make sure your boundaries are intact and are left unbroken. It’s a matter of self-dignity and honor.

7.Seek Professional Help

Experiencing discrimination can put you at risk of mental health decline and increase anxiety and depression. If that’s the case, talk to a professional and seek help. A counselor can help you learn tips to help you cope with the negative side effects of discrimination and being treated unfairly.

Wrap Up

“The only way to end discrimination is to change people’s hearts.” – Nelson Mandela

Understanding the types of discrimination can help you spread awareness against discrimination and create a more inclusive society. By doing so, you challenge biases, stereotypes, and prejudices that a person faces in everyday life. Life is about equal opportunities, respect, and empathy. Not getting any can impact your mental and emotional health.

Coping with discrimination can be challenging but following the aforementioned ways can help you reclaim your rights and power as well as navigate the effects of discrimination. You deserve respect and to be treated equally and speaking up against discrimination can help.

Seek support, speak up, and assert your rights to fight discrimination and strive towards a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Let me know what you think about this article in the comments below! Take care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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