Gender equality and legislation

In the Programme for Government 2011-2015, the Northern Ireland Executive has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that no section of the community is left behind; equality of opportunity, fairness, inclusion and the promotion of good relations are cornerstones of our PfG priorities.

Gender Equality Strategy 2006 - 2016

Promoting gender equality is one of the government‘s priorities and the Gender Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland 2006-2016 provides a policy framework for our work to mainstream gender equality and tackle gender inequalities.

Consultation on draft amendments to the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister is seeking views on a set of draft Regulations which will amend the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976. The proposed amendments are necessary to ensure that domestic law complies with EU Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.

You can download the consultation document via the link below:

The closing date for comments was 29 January 2016.

If you require a hard copy of the consultation document, please contact the Gender Equality & Sexual Orientation Branch.

Review of Government Funding for Women's Groups

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has conducted, with the Department for Social Development, an interim review of funding for women’s groups and organisations providing services in their communities.

Related Publications

Contact us

The Gender and Sexual Orientation Unit are responsible for supporting and co-ordinating actions across departments and their agencies, to implement the Gender Equality Strategy.

More useful links

Gender Equality Legislation

The work of the Gender Equality Unit will be taken forward within a context of increasing legislative emphasis on the promotion of gender equality.

Local context

At local level the most recent significant legislative development is the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Relevant statutory provisions within the UK are:

European Context

The European Union has various articles dealing with discrimination and equality.

International Context

The UK is signatory to a large number of international conventions which have anti-discrimination provisions. Visit the United Nations website for more information.The UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women;The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – relating to gender among other groups;The UN Convention The UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – relating to women among other groups;The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – relating to gender among other groups.UN Beijing Conference 1995.For full texts of UK legislation access:

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