Equality body calls for more action on women’s rights

Posted On: 
25th February 2019

The Equality and Human Rights Commission will today present an updated report on women’s rights to the United Nations in Geneva.

The wide-ranging report focuses on the developments in education, detention and asylum, access to civil justice, the workplace and health care since July last year when it published its report ‘Women’s rights and gender equality in 2018’. It also makes recommendations aimed at increasing support for victims of domestic abuse and eliminating gender stereotypes in everyday life.

As Great Britain enters the second year of gender pay gap reporting, the review reiterates calls for employers to publish action plans which set out the reasons for their gaps and what they will be doing to close them, as well as calling on the UK and Welsh governments to develop national action plans to close gender, disability and ethnicity pay gaps.

The EHRC has also called for the Domestic Abuse Bill in England and Wales to recognise the disproportionate impact this issue has on women and for adequate funding and support to address all forms of abuse, including for women with specialist needs.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“There is a view that women’s rights have progressed rapidly in the last few years. And we have seen and warmly welcomed important milestones in the shape of a renewed focus on shared parenting responsibilities, initiatives to end gender stereotyping and the first-ever successful FGM conviction.

“But it would be misguided to think that women and girls have equality in the UK and that there is no more work to do. Violence against women and girls is still pervasive, workplace sexual harassment is never far from the news, disabled women are still underrepresented in politics and public life, and many sectors still have significant gender pay gaps.

“The recommendations in this report are intended to improve the lives of women and girls across Britain and protect their fundamental rights. We cannot afford to be complacent in our efforts to ensure that women and girls enjoy their right to feel safe and empowered in their everyday lives.”

The full report and list of recommendations is available on the EHRC’s website, and has been submitted to the United Nations as part of its review into the UK’s women’s rights record.