We are Global Majority, a shift in perspective

لقراءة التدوينة باللغة العربية

Ever been called an “Ethnic Minority”? As someone who identifies as an Arab woman, born in the UK, raised in Syria, studied in France, and now living and working in the UK, the term has found its way into my life more times than I can count. But what if I told you there’s a phrase that can reframe the narrative? Next time you encounter the term, try whispering to yourself, “Global Majority.” Yes, you heard it right – “Global Majority.” Let me take you on a journey into the significance of this phrase and why we should all start embracing it more. After all, language matters – it shapes our perceptions and defines the world we live in.

In a world that has grown increasingly interconnected, the language we use to describe ourselves and others holds immense power. The term “ethnic minority” has been a fixture in discussions about diversity, but perhaps it’s time to reimagine and reframe our narratives. This blog invites you to consider a more empowering and inclusive alternative: “Global Majority.”

Breaking Down the Notion of ‘Minority’:

When we label individuals or communities as “ethnic minorities,” we inadvertently perpetuate a narrative of ‘less than’ or ‘other.’ This can be particularly resonant for those of us who embody a multitude of cultural experiences. As an Arab woman born in the UK, raised in Syria, studied in France, and now living and working in the UK, the term “ethnic minority” hardly captures the richness and diversity of my identity.

Introducing the Concept of ‘Global Majority’:

The term “Global Majority” challenges traditional categorisations and acknowledges the reality of a diverse world where no single group holds numerical dominance. In recognising the multiplicity of global identities, we embrace a more accurate reflection of our shared humanity.

Why Should We Embrace “Global Majority”?

Challenge Hegemony: Embracing “Global Majority” is a crucial step in challenging the hegemony of the white-privileged, Euro-centric Western approach to language and categorising. The term “ethnic minority” is deeply rooted in historical power dynamics and colonial legacies that have marginalised non-white communities. This perpetuates an unbalanced narrative where certain cultures and perspectives are considered the norm, while others are relegated to the margins. By adopting “Global Majority,” we disrupt this narrative and highlight the richness and diversity of the majority of the world’s population.

Let me give you an example: In media and academic discourse, the default often aligns with Western perspectives. Terms like “ethnic minority” further reinforce this bias, overshadowing the contributions and narratives of non-white cultures. Shifting to “Global Majority” challenges this norm, creating space for diverse stories and experiences to be acknowledged and valued.

And here’s another clear example: Immigration policies and discussions often frame non-white individuals as outliers, emphasising their “minority” status and, consequently, their “otherness,” making it easier for people to openly reject them and desire to send them as far away as possible. If you’re familiar with the current British immigration hostile environment and the “Rwanda deal,” you’ll know what I’m talking about. This labelling contributes to discriminatory practices and biases. By adopting “Global Majority,” we reframe the narrative to acknowledge the global prevalence and importance of diverse cultures, countering the marginalisation inherent in terms like “ethnic minority.

Reflects Global Realities: The world is a tapestry of cultures, ethnicities, and histories. “Global Majority” better captures the reality that no single group is a minority on a global scale.

Empowering Language: Shifting our language empowers individuals by acknowledging their significance in the broader context of the world. It fosters a sense of belonging and pride in one’s identity.

Promotes Inclusivity: Embracing the term “Global Majority” encourages inclusivity by breaking down artificial divides. It emphasises our shared experiences and challenges, fostering unity.

How Can We Make the Shift?

Educate and Advocate: Start conversations about the implications of language and challenge the use of outdated terms. Advocate for the adoption of “Global Majority” in both personal and professional spheres.

Lead by Example: Incorporate “Global Majority” into your own vocabulary. Whether in casual conversations or formal settings, the more it’s used, the more it becomes the norm.

Encourage Dialogue: Create spaces for open discussions about the power of language in shaping perceptions. Encourage others to share their thoughts and experiences.

Language is not merely a tool for communication; it shapes our perceptions, influences our attitudes, and, ultimately, defines our shared reality. The phrase “language matters” encapsulates the profound impact that words can have on individuals and communities. When we label ourselves or others as “ethnic minorities,” we inadvertently perpetuate a narrative of ‘less than’ or ‘other.’ This choice of language subtly reinforces existing power dynamics and can contribute to a sense of exclusion. By embracing the term “Global Majority,” we recognise the importance of language in fostering inclusivity, empowerment, and a more accurate representation of the diverse world we inhabit. It’s a call to action, urging us to be mindful of the words we use and to choose language that unifies, uplifts, and acknowledges the richness of our collective human experience.

Language is a dynamic force that shapes our understanding of the world. By choosing to use the term “Global Majority,” we contribute to a more accurate, inclusive, and empowering narrative. Let’s celebrate the diversity that enriches our global community and move away from limiting labels. After all, we are not minorities – we are the Global Majority.

 So, the next time someone tries to label you or, perhaps, you catch yourself using the term “Ethnic Minority,” remember the power of language. Whisper to yourself, “Global Majority.” Better yet, say it out loud. Let’s collectively reshape the narrative and acknowledge that we are not a minority; we are, in fact, the majority on this global stage. Language matters, and by embracing “Global Majority,” we contribute to a more inclusive and accurate portrayal of our shared human experience. 


Together, let’s create a new reality, one that is richer, more colourful and truly inclusive.

Ready to bring this conversation to your organisation or community? Reach out to me at info@reemassil.com

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