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To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures, if any, have been put in place to ensure that the Government Equalities Office has regular input into policy proposals to be put forward by (1) the Home Office, (2) the Ministry of Defence, (3) the Department for International Development, and (4) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with particular regard to policies on gender equality.
All public bodies in Great Britain, including Whitehall departments, have a legal obligation under the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider the potential effects of key decisions on groups with protected characteristics including gender.
They are also required to set and publish specific and measurable equality objectives which Whitehall departments have for the last two years included in their Single Departmental Plans. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) encourages departments to publish equality objectives that cover strategic policy work and not only workforce and Human Relations issues. In addition to this, the International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 puts the Department for International Development’s commitment to gender equality on a statutory footing and ensures that gender equality remains at the heart of its work.
GEO has engaged with the specific departments listed on a number of policies including those related to gender equality. For example, as part of the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls’ Strategy, GEO are working alongside Home Office on work to tackle harmful gender norms.