Equality and Diversity

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Running Head: EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY 1

Equality and Diversity: A New Approach to Gender Equality Policy in the UK Gender Studies
30th April 2011

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY 2

Abstract
The United Kingdom is a country that claims to be intolerant towards gender discrimination and at ease with diversity of all kinds. It believes in the basic rights of its people as it supports equality and looks down upon prejudice. This paper focuses on the purpose of the Britain’s government Equality Bill policy now known as the Equality Act and examines the developments in the policy over time and the extent to which gender issues are considered or lost due to diversity. The impact of this particular policy has been immense; however, there is still lack of transparency for which recommendations shall be given in this paper as well. Also different books, Commission of Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) triennial review and UK’s Government Equalities Office (GEO) “Framework for a Fairer Future – The Equality Bill” will be discussed to signify how important this issue is.

Key Words: equality bill, commission of equality and human rights, gender, diversity

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY 3
Equality and Diversity: A New Approach to Gender Equality Policy in the UK

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” – Margaret Mead

The United Kingdom seems to be following along the same lines. The Equality Act first appeared in 2006 but could not be implemented as the parliament dissolved due to upcoming elections. In 2007 the government reestablished a proposal for an Equality Bill for The Great Britain by means of a consultation paper ‘A Framework for Fairness’ which later in 2008 through GEO “Framework for a Fairer Future – The Equality Bill” made it clear that the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will bring together the work of three existing commissions dealing with issues like age, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation into a single commission for equality of human rights. The Equality Bill was published on 27th April 2009 and became an Act of Parliament on 8th April 2010. Hence, the Equality Act 2010 originator is the Equality Act 2006.

According to UK’s Government Equalities Office (GEO) “Framework for a Fairer Future – The Equality Bill” the purpose of this Equality Bill was to set up CEHR in order to make Britain a fair-minded country, where people regardless of their age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs have an equal opportunity to succeed. The bill aimed to make public bodies more transparent so that inequality can be seen and hence measured and worked upon for progress by taking into account the various needs and requirements of the labor force EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY 4

Equality and Diversity: A New Approach to Gender Equality Policy in the UK

and different existing communities when upgrading employment policies and services. It also focused on extending the discrimination legislation which covers factors like religion or belief to incorporate the supplying of facilities and services like goods, education and premises. Furthermore, the bill, in addition promoted equality of opportunity and discouraged discrimination between both the sexes by creating a duty on public authorities.

The Equality Bill was widely accepted and received great support by different Commissions,...
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