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Unravelling Equality?

Unravelling Equality was a human rights and equality impact assessment (HREIA) carried out by Dr James Harrison and me for the Centre for Human Rights in Practice at the University of Warwick and Coventry Women’s Voices. It analysed the potential human rights and equality impacts of the spending cuts on women in Coventry.

The report concludes that many of the spending cuts will have a disproportionate impact on women. Others will affect both women and men equally but will have a potentially damaging impact on certain groups of women. Taken together these cuts will lead to greater inequality between women and men in Coventry. For some women the combination of cuts may have a negative impact on their human rights.

You can find a copy of the report here. The executive summary is available here

The report was launched in April 2011 at a packed meeting at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry. It received wide-spread coverage in the local and national press. You can find links to the press coverage here

The Centre for Human Rights in Practice and Coventry Women’s Voices will be taking forward issues raised in the report over the next few weeks and months:

We have been asked to present the findings of the report to a meeting of all councillors at Coventry City Council, the Equalities and Community Cohesion theme group of the Coventry Partnership and Coventry City Council joint Trade Union Side (including Unite, Unison, Ucatt, GMB and Teacher Trade Unions).

I was invited by Fiona Mactaggart MP to present the findings of the report at a round table meeting she organised with Shadow Minister for Women Yvette Cooper MP and an invited group of women’s voluntary organisations. There was a very high level of interest in the report with many organisations wanting to know how they could replicate the assessment in their own areas.

Following this meeting I worked with the Fawcett Society to organise a parliamentary seminar on 22 June. This event was standing room only by the end and there was a great deal of interest in using the model we developed to carry out similar projects in other parts of the country.

On 12 July Geoffrey Robinson MP quoted at length from the report in a debate on the impact of the spending cuts on women. You can read his speech here

We are currently seeking funding to carry out the second stage of the project which will involve the production of a toolkit to assist other organisations who want to carry out research of this type.

You can find out more about this project here.

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