Promoting Gender Equality in the Public Sector

Published: 6 October 2005

Preparing for the New Duty and Examining Best Practice

Wednesday 12th October 2005, Earls Court One, London SE5

Policy review Magazine, in association with the Equal Opportunities Commission

Keynote Speaker: Meg Munn MP: Parliamentary UnderSecretary for Women and Equality, DTI

Speakers include:

  • Carline Slocock: Chief Executive, EOC
  • Anni Marjoram, Mayors Advisor on Women, GLA
  • Polly Toynbee, Journalist, The Guardian
  • Peter Baker, Director, Men’s Health Form

The new Equality Bill will introduce a gender equality duty for all public authorities in Great Britain. In preparation for the new duty, the Equal Opportunities Commission will publish a draft Code of Practice for consultation this autumn.
From December 2006, when the duty is likely to come into force, all public bodies will be legally bound to eliminate sex discrimination and promote gender equality. The duty will also apply to voluntary and commercial organisations delivering services under contract to a public authority.

Heralded as the most significant change in sex equality legislation for 30 years, the new law places the onus on organisations to demonstrate fair treatment of women and men. Up until now, all that has been required is to disprove an accusation of discrimination. Promoting gender equality effectively means a fundamental re-think in the development of policy and the design and delivery of services, as well as having implications for employment policy and practice. Those who get it right will reap the benefits in terms of more effective policy, improved customer satisfaction and staff productivity. The first national event of its kind, this conference is a unique opportunity to find out first hand the implications for your organisation. Hear the latest on the new duty from the experts at the Equal Opportunities Commission and in government, as well as learning from the practical experiences of organisations in health and local government who are piloting the duty over the summer.

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