The Inclusive Language Guide from Oxfam is a resource to support people in the development/humanitarian sector who have to communicate in English to think about how the way they write can subvert or inadvertently reinforce intersecting forms of inequality that we work to end. The language recommended is drawn from specialist organisations which provide advice on language preferred by marginalised people, groups and communities, and by Oxfam’s own staff and networks, to support making choices that respectfully reflect the way they wish to be referred to. Oxfam wants to support everyone to feel empowered to be inclusive in their work, because equality isn’t equality if it isn’t for everyone.
Language has the power to reinforce or deconstruct systems of power that maintain poverty, inequality and suffering. As we are making commitments to decolonization in practice, it is important that we do not forget the role of language and communications in the context of inequality.