The Coalition Government has outlined its commitment to tackle the inequalities men experience following a campaign led by The Men’s Network.
The letter – which was created in the wake of The First National Conference for Men and Boys – outlined our shared concern that men and boys are showing up unequally is areas such as health, fatherhood, education, criminal justice and community safety.
The Government has responded by declaring that it is committed to “addressing existing inequalities for men” acknowledging that “health is one example where inequalities exist” that “men have more than three times the rate of suicide of women” that boys underperform girls in school and that “fathers want to be more actively involved in bringing up their children”.
The Government has also confirmed that the Equality Act 2010 applies “just as much to men as women” and that the measures in the Act can be used to address unfairness against men and boys.
However, The Government has fallen short of committing to consult with men and men’s groups about how it can respond more effectively to the specific needs of men and boys in the UK – as requested by the signatories of our 2011 letter (click here to see who backed the letter).
You can read the Government’s full response by clicking here or read the abridged version below:
“The Government is committed to equal treatment and equality of opportunity for all and to addressing existing inequalities for men….wherever they are found.
“The Government…..is equally committed to taking action to address the needs of men and boys where the evidence shows inequalities exist.
“Health is one example where inequalities exist and the Government is taking action to address this.
“Further, the Government recognises that overall men have more than three times the rate of suicide of women.
“On educational attainment, the Government recognises that there are gender disparities in some subjects including English and science. To improve boys’ attainment in English, the Government is putting a renewed emphasis on the acquisition of literacy skills.
“In addition, the Government values the role of dads, understanding that fathers want to be more actively involved in bringing up their children and that more and more men are doing so.
“Finally, the Equality Act 2010 is one of the most comprehensive equality laws in the world. Broadly, the protections it provides apply just as much to men as women. The measures in the Act can be used to address unfairness against men and boys.
“For example the positive action provisions allow employers to target measures to help men in circumstances where they are underrepresented in the workforce or where they are suffering disadvantage connected with being a man.”
Tracey Boscott, Home Office Spokeswoman