Women, Minorities and Respect
There is a great difference between actually respecting a person or a group and pretending to respect them in order to avoid negative consequences. And toward that effect, much more useful are educational efforts that give people real reasons to respect non-Western people and women, rather than simply teaching them that racism and sexism are wrong.
In fact, real efforts can be made to build actual respect for women and minorities. Any number of non-Western-affiliated civilizations had great accomplishments. Many people don't know about these things, so they think that the Western civilization is the only one that has ever achieved anything great. Telling them that that's racism is not enough. It is important to instead give them real reasons to respect other civilizations.
Much benefit stands to be achieved by teaching people about what the Incas accomplished in less than 100 years, or what was accomplished by the Tang Dynasty. Not enough people know that Incas had paved roads running 1000 miles through tall mountains, or that they had agriculture that was more efficient and less polluting than contemporary agricultural practices. Not enough people know about the architecture of the Mayas or the medical practices of the Chinese or the amazing temples in India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Burma and Sri Lanka. Not enough is said about the mathematics and architecture of the Moores or about the achievements of Africa's Songhay Empire. Not many people know that the Chinese built ships the size of football fields, or that during the Middle Ages China had half of the world's GDP. The message most people are given is simply, racism is wrong. They are not given viable reasons as to why.
Regarding women we see the same exact thing. People come in saying things such as, "men have achieved much more than have women, that means they are superior." How about educating them about how many women have been pioneers in the computer industry, starting with Ada Lovelace and going on to Hedy Lamar and Sandy Lerner? How about educating them about Susan Anthony and Marie Curie - about Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Browning and Anna Akhmatova - about Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, Mary Medici and Queen Elizabeth I? All they hear is, it's wrong to be sexist. They are not given real reasons as to why.
Feigned respect may help one avoid the obnoxious consequences of open disrespect, but it does not build actual respect. What does build real respect is showing someone's accomplishments. The more people learn about achievements by non-Western people and by women, the more people will have real respect for both. And that actually stands to benefit the lot of these constituences rather than creating a semblance of benefit.