Tag Archives: equalities

Opinion: To be free from poverty, ignorance and conformity, our society must have robust support for disabled people

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day 2015. It’s the tenth annual day for disabled and non-disabled people to blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination (known as disablism or ableism). It aims to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we’ve made.

An online acquaintance of mine said he was going to write for #BADD2015 in terms of the political parties’ manifestos. Good Lib Dem that I am, I looked forward to hearing some positive stuff about my party. I know there’s lots to talk about.

The Lib Dems have budgeted the £8 billion a year the NHS will need during the next parliament, which is bound to be relevant to the lives of people with disabilities and other long-term conditions, as many of us do seem to see doctors, nurses and specialists often enough to be on a first-name basis with many of them!

The Lib Dems’ unique dedication to improving mental health care is also relevant to many disabled people, both those whose disability is primarily or entirely a matter of mental illness, and those who experience poor mental health as a result of other disabilities. Mental illnesses are some of the most common, and most “invisible,” disabilities in the UK, and at the moment the mental health care many people receive (or fail to) not only doesn’t help them but can actually make their mental health worse.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Daily Mail tells us a 20 year old story on Jo Swinson’s equalities report

The Daily Mail alights on a Government Equalities Report commissioned by our Jo Swinson and, of course, hones in on the one paragraph in 12 pages that mentions sex.

But just doing the dishes can really spice up a marriage.

That, at least, is the advice from a report backed by Liberal Democrat equalities minister Jo Swinson. It calls on men to do more to support gender equality campaigns – and isn’t coy when it comes to spelling out the potential perks of hoovering.

It claims that everyone in a family becomes ‘happier and healthier’ if men participate ‘fairly in the home’ by sharing childcare duties or household chores.

It goes on to say: ‘Equity in the home is associated with a range of benefits including improved sexual relationships.

‘Where women report an equitable relationship with their partner they are more likely to be having frequent sex.’

The thing is, the research cited in that report is 20 years old. It is, of course, stating the obvious. Let’s face it, if everyone shares the work, there’s bound to be more time for fun.

If the Daily Mail had devoted even half the space it gives over to stories that can be filed under the heading “Woman Goes Out Wearing Clothes” or to having a go at women for working outside the home, or being stay at home mothers, or being too fat, or being obsessed with diets, or being too needy in relationships, or scaring men by being too independent, to promoting this research, they could have driven a really positive cultural change.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: A new member’s views on equality

We have heard Nick and Tim’s comments on advancing women by means of all female shortlists. In many ways this is admirable but it’s arguably discriminatory. Firstly it reflects the outdated, but still common, view of gender in terms of men and women when it fact gender variance is far broader; we should be and are the party of the androgynous, gender queer, intersex and all other genders, however by not including them we exclude them, discrimination by omission.

Secondly we are a broad party and need to ensure that all can truly fulfil their potential regardless of whether they fall within the protected characteristics of the Equality Act or not. Yes there may be, and I would argue are, more obstacles for some groups than other but that does not mean that anyone group should be prioritised thus creating or reinforcing “a hierarchy of diversity”
I have often heard and indeed even today heard that it is easier and more effective to focus on one issue and when we have got that right to move on to others. The problem with this thinking is at least twofold.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

Opinion: Confronting gender inequalities in the workplace

Handshake man - womenI am proud to belong to a party that strives to represent the unrepresented, defend the rights of minorities and works hard to achieve equality for all. Our work in government to tackle inequality has improved the lives of many and made society as a whole fairer. But, whilst we have made real progress in improving the deal for women in the workplace, it remains unacceptable that in the 21st century women remain underrepresented at the top and suffer significant pay disadvantages throughout many organisations.

At conference in Glasgow, the Federal Policy Committee will present its policy paper Expanding Opportunity, Unlocking Potential. A paper that addresses, amongst many other vital issues, the lack of women on boards and ongoing gender pay disparities. I wanted to take the opportunity in this blog to outline the difficulties women in the workplace still face and set out what measures we propose in the paper to address them.

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

Jo Swinson launches Lib Dem campaign to deliver equal pay in the workplace

jo swinson Alex Folkes/Fishnik PhotographyIn an email to party members, Jo Swinson, Lib Dem Minister for Consumer Affairs & Equalities, has launched a new campaign to deliver equal pay in the workplace:

Shockingly, in 2012 women were paid nearly 20% less than their male colleagues. It is an unacceptable difference and one the Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle.

Today we’re announcing plans to require large companies to publish the difference in pay between male and female workers. This will create pressure from staff and customers to close any pay gap and

Posted in News | Also tagged | 40 Comments

“No to weakening the protections in the Equalities Act”

ECHR and CleggNo to weakening the protections in the Equalities Act

That’s what Nick Clegg said in his conference speech last week.

This is not the same as saying no to weakening the effectiveness of the Equalities Act 2006. Back in April we nearly lost Section 3, which gives the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) its purpose. Without Section 3 a future government would have less difficulty further dismantling the EHRC. Lib Dems in government raised no objections at the time. But for a strong showing in the Lords, some back-bone on the back benches and an emergency motion at the Welsh Spring Conference, we would have sold the pass on that one.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Equalities – how the ‘General Duty’ was saved

It was fitting that, on the 20th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence, the government decided to listen to campaigners and save a key element of our equalities laws.

Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) played a leading role in the campaign to save Section 3 of the 2006 Equality Act which provides a vision and mission statement for Britain’s equality watchdog.

This is known as the ‘general duty’ and both informs the work of the watchdog – the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – which itself is responsible for setting the standard for the rest of our public services.

That is …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 29th May - 9:55pm
    Dan Snow led an analysis of the Battle of Jutland, with the help of the Royal Navy, shown on BBC2 at 9 pm on 29/5/2016....
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 29th May - 9:33pm
    I disagree with David when a full-scale round of elections is on. Imagine two adjacent wards, one where we could take a seat, the other...
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 29th May - 9:24pm
    Is the human brain a psychoactive substance? Can I buy it in Body Shop?
  • User AvatarAllan Heron 29th May - 8:26pm
    I think that's an accurate assessment by John of where we find ourselves. At best, we stood still but being able to advance remains a...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 29th May - 8:07pm
    @ Dave Orbison Agree with every word you say, Dave. As an elected member five times (and as a Cabinet member) I have seen the...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 29th May - 8:03pm
    "Near demise" is an accurate description of May's results. We did gain two constituencies, but we lost two list seats. Even the best spin by...