The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different individuals or groups, typically due to characteristics like race, age, gender, disability or religion.

Discrimination refers to the unfair or inequitable treatment of specific individuals or groups based on their belonging to a specific category or having particular traits, characteristics, or circumstances. It involves denying rights, opportunities, or equal treatment on the grounds of factors such as race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, national origin, pregnancy, or other protected characteristics.

Discrimination can take many overt and subtle forms. It may involve giving unfair preferential treatment to members of one group over another or systematically denying specific individuals or groups the same rights, access to opportunities, or benefits that others enjoy due to preconceived negative attitudes, biases, or judgments about their inherent human worth or capabilities. Discrimination often stems from prejudiced ideologies, intolerance of differences, or a desire by the dominant group to maintain privilege and power over others.

Most nations have laws prohibiting discrimination and mandating equal treatment and non-discriminatory practices in areas such as employment, housing, education, lending, provision of goods/services, and access to public spaces and government programs. Discrimination is considered unethical and a violation of fundamental civil rights and liberties. Unlawful discrimination can prompt disciplinary actions, policy changes, monetary damages, efforts to prevent future discrimination, and other remedies.

Major discrimination concerns include racial discrimination, sex/gender discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, discrimination based on religion or national origin, and discrimination toward LGBTQ+ individuals. Eradicating discrimination and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity remain significant legal and social challenges worldwide.

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