Gender equality review released calling for transformational change

Tuesday September 24th, 2019

WEN Wales today welcomes the release of the Gender Equality Review reports and congratulates Chwarae Teg on the work that has gone into setting out an agenda for change so that Wales is transformed into a country free from gender discrimination.

“We need to radically change what we do and how we do it to make Wales a world leader for gender equality” says Chwarae Teg.

The reports set out the next steps for Welsh Government to achieve Gender Equality. These include a roadmap for policy change and a report on organisational change across Welsh Government.

Gender equality matters – to ensure that women, men and non-binary people can enjoy the same rights, opportunities and outcomes but also to drive economic growth and increase wellbeing in Wales so that in future generations our sex, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, education or socio-economic profile, or the community we come from will not dictate our ability to achieve happiness and fulfilment and make the fullest contribution to our society.

Catherine Fookes, Director of Women’s Equality Network Wales commented:

“WEN Wales is delighted to see the publication of the Gender Equality Review which gives Welsh Government the opportunity to put their good intentions into action and transform Wales into a world leader for gender equality,  and a nation free from gender discrimination. As the umbrella body for women’s organisations in Wales, we look forward to working with our members and all stakeholders and Government to help make this happen”.    

In 2018 the Welsh Government committed to making Wales a world leader for gender equality. To achieve this, a Review of Gender Equality was commissioned to explore what was working well, what could be improved and determine what lessons could be learnt from other governments regarded as world leaders for gender equality.

The first phase of the Review concluded in June 2018 and these reports published today conclude the review. Chwarae Teg have now published the final reports from the second phase of the Review, which explored the issues raised in Phase One in more depth. Together these reports make recommendations for changes to what we do, but also crucially how we do things, outlining actions in key policy areas that have the greatest impact on women’s day-to-day lives as well as setting out the steps necessary to change the way in which policy and programmes are developed.

The reports call on Welsh Government to build on the foundations already in place and begin a long-term programme of change towards genuine equality mainstreaming. The issues that contribute to ongoing inequality cannot be solved overnight or by working in isolation. We require coherent action across different spheres, with Welsh Government playing a vital leadership role.

Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg said: “As we mark twenty years of devolution in Wales it is right to reflect on the progress we have made towards equality and consider what further or different steps we need to achieve bold ambitions.

The Welsh Government have shown leadership on this issue, setting out their commitment to become a world leader for gender equality. Achieving this, will require a radical change in what we do and how we do things. We cannot afford to continue to develop policies and programmes that, inadvertently, recreate and reinforce longstanding inequality.

Gender equality cannot be achieved in one political term of office. To deliver lasting change we need to see continued political commitment across many years, changes in the way Welsh Government functions as an institution that develops and delivers policies and programmes and the development of new policy-making tools to truly embed equalities, and the diverse voices of Welsh people, in the process.

We are clear that good intentions are not enough, now is the time to make sure these translate into action.”