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Equality North East

Guide for making the case for women only services

Many women’s organisations have been challenged about their women-only
services even though the Sex Discrimination Act (1975) and the Gender Equality Duty clearly stated that single-sex services were lawful, and even preferable under many circumstances.

The recent Equality Act (2010) does not change this. However, because the Act covers a greater number of groups of people who are protected from
discrimination, we are concerned that there may be further confusion amongst public bodies as to the legality of women-only services.

This guide outlines the current legal and policy position in relation to separate- and single-sex services. It also signposts readers to organisations and resources that can help women’s organisations make the case for such vital services.

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November 2, 2011

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