ESRC Funded Seminar Series Public Policy, Equality and Diversity in the Context of Devolution Seminar 2: Mainstreaming equality and diversity in different national contexts: implications for policy and practice
The experience of a single equalities commission in Northern Ireland Elizabeth Meehan Queen’s University Belfast
The Scottish Executive and Equality Esther Breitenbach University of Edinburgh
Commission for Equality and Human Rights Towards the Commission for Equality and Human Rights Debbie Gupta CEHR Project Team
outline • Why the CEHR? • What will it do? (and not do?) • Lessons learned • Next steps towards establishment
key facts • Replaces the existing Commissions • Commission for Racial Equality (est 1976) • Disability Rights Commission (est 2000) • Equal Opportunities Commission (est 1975) • Provides institutional support for new discrimination grounds and human rights • Religion or belief • Sexual orientation • Age • Operates with existing discrimination law framework*
why the CEHR? • Legislative landscape has changed • Social and demographic challenges of the future • Powerful and authoritative • Resource efficiency
what the CEHR will do… • Work on a wide basis across equality, diversity, human rights and good relations • Duty to consult stakeholders in preparation of strategic plan, and on ‘State of the Nation’ report • Regional arrangements – greater relevance for local communities and public services • New duty to work towards elimination of prejudice towards, hatred of, and hostility against communities and new powers to monitor hate crimes • Provide guidance across all areas of discrimination, perhaps on a sector-specific basis eg education, health
and what the CEHR will not do… • Dilute expertise and experience – instead putting it all together under one roof • Treat all issues in the same way – equality is about recognising and accommodating different needs and circumstances • Support every discrimination case – will need to use limited resources to achieve strategic outcomes • Undertake litigation on human rights cases – except in a few limited circumstances
lessons learned • the journey is as important as the destination • change is always difficult • honest, open dialogue is critical • passion, aspiration and vision matter
next steps towards establishment… • Equality Bill 2005 • Steering Group • Capacity-building for new discrimination grounds
‘An absolute duty’: the rhetoric and reality of mainstreaming equality in post devolution Wales Paul Chaney University of Cardiff
Content • Legal + institutional context • political vision • institutional prerequisites for mainstreaming equality • Evaluation reports • Public policy: selected examples • Overall Assessment
Context: Welsh Office • Male-dominated administration • Weak national Welsh policy making capacity • Equality issues ignored / “not our responsibility” • Wholesale failure to tackle inequality and discrimination
Mainstreaming: Devolution, and the Political Vision (1) • Development beyond enabling statutory framework • Need to ‘take equality of opportunity factors into account in every policy decision’ • ‘a definite dynamic’ • ‘individual responsibility’
Mainstreaming: Devolution, and the Political Vision (2) • ‘a democratic, participative approach’ • ‘clear priorities and targets for action’ • ‘This mainstreaming approach is fundamental’
Challenging Context • Equalities more pronounced • Deficiencies in Welsh devo ‘settlement’ • High expectations of ‘new’ politics • Discontinuities in Ministerial ‘leadership’ • Huge pressures on Welsh civil Service
Institutional Prerequisites • Appropriate institutional arrangements • Awareness raising • Training • Expertise • Appropriate staffing • Reporting mechanisms • Incentives to ‘build ownership’, • Securing adequate resources
Evaluation (2002). • Subject committees failing to mainstream equality into policy-making • Policy consultations under-resourced • Majority of policies ‘declaratory’ approach to equalities • Policies lacked equality targets • ‘Ownership’ lacking • Financial and human resource implications ignored
“Little strategic direction” ‘currently the Assembly does not have an overall equality strategy, and in our view there is no doubt that this is hampering the Assembly's efforts in relation to mainstreaming equality(NAW, 2004:31-2).
Evaluation (2004). • Officials: Inadequate equality training • Inadequate Official Statistics • Failing/ inadequate EPU • Inadequate equalities advice to public sector • Absence of equality impact assessments • Inadequate monitoring of equalities policies
e.g.s of Equality Policy and Law • Consultative policy networks • Public Procurement • Public Appointments • Education Policy • Equality and the Regulatory Infrastructure of the State • Equality in Welsh Law
UN International Assessment, March 2005 • uneven in their effectiveness • often marginalized in national government structures • frequently hampered by unclear mandates, • lack of adequate staff, training, data and sufficient resources, • lacking support from national political leadership’ (UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, IANWGE, 2005:61).
Rhetoric or Reality? (1) • Presently, more rhetoric than reality • Failed against Welsh exec’s self-stated aims -as well as int. understood principles of mainstreaming • Positive developments – institutional prerequisites • Positive developments – selected e.g.s of policy and law
Rhetoric or Reality? (2) • Thus far, faltering and uneven approach to mainstreaming • Current implementation of Mainstreaming Review recommendations: a crucial test (déjà vu ) • Absolute Duty?
NAW definition of equality • ‘treating people equally in status, rights and opportunities through a set of policies and actions, with the aim of securing equality of outcome for all’ (NAW, 2004:7).
NAW definition of Mainstreaming ‘the integration of respect for diversity and equality of opportunity principles, strategies and practices into the every day work of [government …] and other public bodies. It means that equality issues should be included from the outset as an integral part of the policy-making and service delivery process and the achievement of equality should inform all aspects of the work of every individual within an organisation. The success of mainstreaming should be measured by evaluating whether inequalities have been reduced’ (NAW, 2004:6).
Equality, diversity and the politics of scale: the Canadian public policy experience Janet Siltanen Carleton University, Ottawa
Gender-based analysis and diversity • in Canadian public policy • the significance of diversity in federal commitments to gender-based analysis • action to integrate gender-based analysis and diversity • implementation successes, challenges and possibilities
Setting the Stage for the Next Century: The Federal Plan for Gender Equality, 1995-2000 A gender-based approach ensures that the development, analysis and implementation of legislation and policies are undertaken with an appreciation of gender differences. It also acknowledges that some women may be disadvantaged even further because of their race, colour, sexual orientation, socio-economic position, region, ability level or age. A gender-based analysis respects and appreciates diversity.
Putting intersectional analysis into practice • intersectional analysis as a theory of inequality in Canada • intersectional analysis in practice • - intracategorical analysis • - intercategorical analysis
Rescaling and the policy process • the politics of scale in the analysis of policy-making in Canada • rescaling and ‘gender and diversity’ policy-making in provinces, regions and cities • consistency versus context in sub-national policy implementation mechanisms
Charter of Rights and Freedoms • 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. • According to rulings made by the Supreme Court of Canada, section 15 (1) of the Charter provides not only formal equality, but also substantive equality.
The Nordic Approach to the Promotion of Equality Tuula Gordon University of Helsinki
Equal opportunities in Malta: a southern European perspective Mary Darmanin University of Malta
Introduction • 1987 following European Convention of Human Rights • 1991 Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women • Constitutional amendments prohibiting discrimination on ground of sex • Rights of disabled to work and training • Since 2003 some protection against discrimination on grounds of race • Roman Catholic religion entrenched in Constitution as religion of Malta
..and • Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act , February 2000 • Act to Promote Equality for Men and Women, Act I of 2003 • Domestic Violence Act 2005 (being debated now) • Subsidiary legislation on tax credit for women returnees 2005 • Equal pay for the same work, 1964; Equal Pay Act 1967; 1974 annual increments to female civil servants; 1976 extended to private sector employees • 13 weeks maternity leave on full pay 1981, one further week unpaid since EU accession 2004 • Disabled Persons (Employment ) Act 1969: register , quota of 2%, not enforced • Females able to join trade unions 1937 • No legislation to protect against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation
The policy context • Area of 316 Km sq: Malta and Gozo (and 3 unoccupied islands) • Population 400,000 • New EU member, May 2004 • 4th highest debt level in EU • Large deficit • Decline in industry • Rise in unemployment • Average annual salary - female Lm 4462, males Lm 5354 • Low overall employment rate – 54.4%
Labour Force Data 2004 • Female activity rate is 36.7% • Female employment rate 32.9% • Female unemployment rate 10.2% • 54.2% of unemployed females are age 15-24 • 17.7% of all employed females work part-time as main occupation • 2.5% of the females are self-employed • 2003 Disability Survey: 23% (627)of 16-60 are in employment. 897 consider themselves unemployed.
A theoretical aside • Not one perspective but many • My materialist interpretation, within account of social policy/development of (welfare) state • History of British colonialism/southern Catholicism (sedimented layers of practice) • State as ‘relational’ : condenses struggles, medial institution • 4 imperatives/responses to: • transnational capital • global political structures • domestic pressures and demands • internal needs and self-interests
Specificity of Malta and Gozo • Geographical size (no natural resources) • Population size :doubled in 20th century; 1,265 per sq km; non-Maltese element 2.1% , masculinity ratio 977 • no critical mass of activists, multi-functional roles, intimacy/affectively charged relationships, interdependent social networks • Intensive links with metropolitan imports • Colonial ‘penetration’ intensive and durable -2000 year history. British period 1802-1964 • Catholic Church: a coloniser? • EU : direct (rule?) external influence
Early discourses and practices • Complex system of needs based assistance (charity?) since the Knights of Malta, 16th Century • Modern welfare since 1920s • British grouped all service under Comptroller of Charitable Institutions 1815 • Discretionary pensions to public servants since 1820s • Fortress economy: work as male, beginning of male breadwinner model (though women in paid employment and subsistence economy too)
Early welfare and internal demands • Early social assistance and social insurance • 1927 Widows and Orphans Pensions act • Workmen’s Compensation Act 1929(contributory) • Old Age Pensions Act 1948 (means tested) • 1940s formation of General Workers Union/MLP = common Labour Front • To repeal 1939 Voting Ordinance (male –only, plural voting) to extend to males and females over 18. Passed in 1948. • Campaign for introduction of income tax and land tax • 1947 restoration of responsible government and Labour administration
Contradictions of the Welfare State • 1956 National Assistance Act (to heads of household, means tested) and National Insurance Act (insurance paid by employer, State, employee) • 1950s (following ILO) Conditions of Employment (Regulations) Bill. Wages Council and Joint Negotiating Councils • 1945-1960 heavy emigration to Australia and Canada (over 55,000 persons)
Discrimination against female employees • 1948 Cabinet decision to lay off females followed by Marriage Bar • 1956 Balogh Report- waste of talent • 1974, Act XLV In CERA (1952). MLP government ban on females filling vacancy of post previously held by a man. • Repealed by Act XXVII of 8th December 1978- but lose seniority • MPO Circular 18/96: service prior to resignation not reckonable for assimilation into civil service grades (in vigore to date)
Hybrid model within economic and political instability • Old Age Pensions (Amendment ) Act 1957 : blind persons over 40 qualify • 1964 extended to blind over 14 • ‘passive assistance’ • Education, economy very underdeveloped • From integration to independence struggle –not enough funds to maintain Malta
Aid to Industries (Bill) 1957 : labour intensive, low skill, low pay industries (females) • Transfer of Dockyard to private company (90,000) dependent on it • Service sector tourism growth: seasonal, small • Large public sector