From the Guardian:
In an interview with the Guardian, Featherstone issued her reminder that any public sector job cuts or other deficit reduction plans that failed to consider equality rules would fall foul of the law.
Under the Equality Act 2010, a new equality duty was introduced in April dictating that any public body must have regard to the equality implications of its decisions.
She said: “The equality duty means that the public sector will have to look at who is losing jobs and how those jobs are being lost because there is a duty to do so with regard to the act itself.
“They must consider the impact of the cuts they are making and look to make sure that they are fair and that’s the point of the equality duty in anything you do. I remind colleagues endlessly.”
Labour has mounted a campaign highlighting the impact of the coalition’s spending reductions on women, arguing they are bearing the brunt of the cuts because women rely more heavily on the state for benefits and are more likely to work in the public sector.
Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, insisted the coalition’s record for women was better than Labour’s.
Explaining the fall in women’s support for both coalition parties, she said: “Maybe the harshness of the situation we find ourselves in, as a result of having the biggest deficit in peacetime, for some reason resonates with women.”
She added: “The coalition government is actually delivering an awful lot for women. There are some hard decisions we’ve had to take because the deficit is enormous.
“I’m sure no parent wants to visit that deficit on their children’s future. So it’s important before everything that we clear up the deficit.”
Read the full piece at the Guardian.