In the society today, people have become aware of their human rights irrespective of their origins. This has called for fair treatment of every individual by the government in the various sectors such as education, employment and political leadership. However, not every society fully respects human rights. The disparity in such societies has led to the issue of affirmative action. As much as I agree with the practice, I also believe that it has its own downfalls and must therefore be restricted.
First, Kowalski’s (2006) definition of affirmative action as a public initiative or policies designed to solve the past and present problem of discrimination based on sex, color, origin and religion fits my view of what affirmative action is. The fact that societies are experiencing discrimination of individuals or groups of people in their education system, employment opportunities and political leadership makes me believe that, if regulated, the practice can help. This could be the reason why countries like the United States of America (the U.S) has adopted it irrespective of its advantages and disadvantages.
Affirmative action is a fair policy, because it ensures that the minority groups are given some opportunity to seek proper education, employment and to acquire leadership positions. It also helps create a diversified working environment since people of different regions, races and skills are brought to work together. Affirmative action also creates an enabling environment for justice and equal treatment to be enjoyed by everyone since it ensures a fair representation of every category of people in governmental institutions. Lastly, it has helped in changing some stereotypes, which are associated with some particular groups of people. For instance, the belief that the blacks in America were not competent to take leadership positions in government has been proved wrong since they are performing well in such positions (Marzilli, 2004).
On the other hand, affirmative action may create a reverse discrimination since it may close opportunities for the qualified dominant groups of people for the sake of proportionate representation. It can also lead to a negative perception on the abilities of the minorities in employment since priority is not only given on merit. Lastly, the emphasis on affirmative action may cause animosity among people since some of the more qualified majority in the society may be denied opportunities because of the minority who could be less qualified (Sowell, 2004).
In conclusion, it is worth noting that affirmative action is a policy which should be given chance by every government since it ensures that everyone is given an opportunity to better education, leadership role and employment. However, its policies should be created in a manner that it does not discriminate the majority.