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EOC demands new law to stamp out inequality in public services

6th Oct 2003
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Julie Mellor Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), recently highlighted to the government that the modernisation of the equality legislation must be addressed.

The EOC's vision for equality, published this month, sets out how a more equal society would improve everybody's quality of life, increase prosperity, strengthen democracy, and improve public services.

Ms Mellor, said: "Britain's [***] equality laws are almost 30 years old. They mean individuals can take legal action if they have been discriminated against but they do little to ensure everyone is treated fairly. We need institutions to change.

"Reducing inequality is quite rightly a political priority in Britain today. However, failure to change the law seriously undermines that commitment. It won't be fulfilled unless public bodies are required to take equality for women and men into account in the way they deliver services, in all aspects of policy, and in their employment practices.

"This would mean, for example, that rural transport services would need to be planned so that women who don't have a car have the chance of going out to work. Local authorities would have to give a high priority to tackling domestic violence. It would massively reinforce the urgency of the need for a decent childcare infrastructure and ensure that any pensions proposals tackled women's poverty in retirement."

Website: www.eoc.org.uk

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