The Welsh Government is asking people for their views on how to create a Wales which offers equality for all.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt has today [Tuesday 24 September] published draft objectives to drive progress in advancing equality and inclusion across the nation.
The updated objectives reflect the realities of today, in a society which has seen powerful online movements such as #MeToo and #LwiththeT, as well as navigating the unknown impact Brexit may have on human rights laws and international treaties which protect UK citizens.
The Equality Act 2010 outlines characteristics which are protected under it, including race & disability, and these are at the fore of all the objectives’ aims.
The key long term aims which the objectives underpin are to:
- Eliminate inequalities caused by poverty;
- Implement strong and progressive equality and human rights protections;
- Put the needs and rights of people who share protected characteristics at the forefront of public services and public policy;
- Make Wales a world leader for gender equality;
- Eliminate identity-based abuse, harassment, hate crime and bullying;
- Promote a country of cohesive communities which are resilient, fair and equal;
- Increase the diversity of decision-makers in public life and appointments;
- Support the Welsh public sector to lead the way as exemplar inclusive and diverse organisations and employers.
Jane Hutt said:
At the heart of the Welsh Government’s ambitions for our society sits equality of outcome for all; regardless of age, ability, gender, race or religion. This can mean supporting those at risk of poverty away from harm, championing women to become the leaders this country wants and needs, or guaranteeing accessibility and rights for disabled people to ensure they can live the lives they want to lead.
Our drive for equality has never been more important than it is today. In this ever-changing world we’re living in, the gap between the richest and the poorest in our society continues to widen, while extremist voices exploit social media to spread intolerance and hatred - with women especially being the target for their vitriol.
Meanwhile, years of austerity and continuing uncertainty around Brexit risk undermining our shared values and dividing our communities at a time when we most need to be cohesive. We are determined to continue to promote Wales as the diverse, welcoming nation that it is – one that will not tolerate racism or any other kind discrimination.
In this context, we must make every effort to affirm and demonstrate our commitment to equality and be vigilant to safeguard the human rights laws and international treaties which protect every one of us.
The consultation is open for the next 8 weeks on the Welsh Government website. It is open to anyone and views are particularly sought from public, private and third sector organisations whose work relates to the key aspects of equality.