Departments: Equal Opportunities

International Development written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Labour, Lewisham, Deptford

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department has a gender (a) strategy and (b) equality action plan in place.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party

Gender is an integral part of DFID's core business to eliminate poverty overseas. The third millennium development goal (MDG) specifically promotes gender equality and women's empowerment and evidence shows that gender equality is also key to the achievement of the other MDGs.

In line with the commitment in the Government's recent White Paper (July 2006) to give greater priority to gender equality, DFID carried out an evaluation of how effective the Department has been at achieving gender equality and women's empowerment. This led to the development of a three year gender equality action plan.

The Department is also taking the following steps to meet its specific legal responsibilities under the gender equality duty.

The Department has launched a consultation with staff and policy heads, to review UK based functions and activities to develop and publish our Gender Equality Scheme by 30 April 2007. This will conform to the approach set out in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Order 2006 (No. 2930) when it comes into force on 6 April 2007.

DFID's Human Resources Division is updating gender monitoring data on our employment functions and will use this evidence to promote equality as necessary. We are now identifying other activities for which we will collect more data on gender outcomes, such as the uptake of DFID's proposed volunteering scheme and the use of the development awareness fund.

A network of gender champions has been established across the Department, consisting of senior civil servants, who are responsible for promoting equality and ensuring the Department's action plans are implemented.

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Bill Ellson
Posted on 7 Mar 2007 4:23 pm (Report this annotation)

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Order 2006 can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information's website at:
Check out the long list of public bodies who are required to prepare gender strategies and action plans.

The Act itself, as amended, can be found on The UK Statute Law Database:
Direct Link: