Men' health campaigners in the UK are concerned that the Government appears poised to water down its own health equality legislation.
Responding to the Government’s review on discrimination law, the Men's Health Forum (MHF) England warns that the consultation document, A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain, seeks to weaken the provisions of the Equality Act 2006 so as to assimilate its objectives into the new statutory framework.
EMHF president Dr Ian Banks, who holds the same position in the MHF says: ‘We are concerned about the form of words that imply the possible disappearance or diminution of the recently created general duty and specific duties. Replacing the general duty in the Equality Act 2006 with a requirement to take action in a "limited number of priority areas" is a retrograde step.’
Now the MHFis calling for the Government to 'require' public authorities to take gender fully into account when planning and delivering services.
The 2006 Equality Act introduced a new legal requirement on all public authorities in Britain to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex and to promote equality of opportunity between women and men.
The Men’s Health Forum is opposed to anything that dilutes the present specific duties on public authorities to publish gender equality schemes, conduct formal gender impact assessments of major areas of provision, consult stakeholders and so on. Indeed, it would favour strengthening the language so that public authorities are 'required' to do this rather than 'pay due regard to the need' to do it.