Public policy for gender equality: 8 practical steps

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

There is a lot that Government can do to help us become an equal nation. But they’re not the only ones. This post looks at the practical steps each of us can take to get closer to gender equality. It follow-ups my previous post, Public policy for gender equality: the to-do list

Eight practical steps

  1. Childcare support is almost entirely dictated by public policy at a national level – but it is your Local Authority who dole out the funding and who have legal responsibility for ensuring the availability of childcare. So ask your Local councillors what they are doing to help
  2. Campaign! Add your voice (and perhaps a donation) to childcare campaign groups. I’d recommend the Child Poverty Action Group, but there are a few, and might even be a local group fighting to improve things in your area. Others are Save the ChildrenGingerbread (focus on single parent families); Council For Disabled Children and Coram Family and Childcare
  3. If you’ve got a child in child-care, talk to the management and get an insight from them on what’s going on. If they are taking action, let them you know you support them. If they’re not, let them know what resources and organisations (see above) exist to help them
  4. Outcomes for children aren’t what they should be, and it’s the Department for Education who are accountable- so hold them to account. Share headlines (keep an eye on Children & Young People Now, shout about new Govt statistics – and ask your MP what they are doing to help
  5. Know your rights for Shared Parental Leave and help others know theirs. There’s lots of resources around including from Working Families
  6. Now that you know what you are entitled to, learn about what you should be entitled to. Understand the argument for a better system of Shared Parental Leave by getting up to scratch with the work of The Fatherhood Institute, the most active organisation in the area of equal parenting in the UK
  7. If you’re an employer or manager, advertise jobs as flexible by default and be open to requests for flexibility.  Get advice from the Government and others, such as Timewise. While you’re there, support the Timewise Foundation campaign for flexibility by default
  8. See stereotyping or gendering of toys, books, adverts or curriculum? Speak up! Let Toys Be Toys have plenty of info on how to do so. But if you don’t have the time to go the whole hog, tweet about it so that the @LetToysBeToys campaign can add it to their knowledge pool

Of course the list isn’t really eight items long. There is so much we can do. This is just a start…

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