The Government Equalities Office (GEO) is responsible for equality strategy and legislation across government. We take action on the government’s commitment to remove barriers to equality and help to build a fairer society, leading on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality.
We are responsible for:
- improving equality and reducing discrimination and disadvantage for all in the UK; improving people’s life chances at work, and in public and political life
- taking the lead on the Equality Act 2010 and being the lead department on gender, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) issues in government including the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, and Civil Partnership Act 2004
supporting and implementing international equality measures in the UK, including our international commitments to:
- the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
- the European Union strategic engagement for gender equality 2016 - 2019
Our priorities include:
- helping women to fulfil their potential in the workplace and helping businesses get the full economic benefit of women’s skills
- eliminating the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) by introducing regulations requiring larger employers to publish their gender pay data, and working with other government departments to address the causes of the GPG
- improving female career progression, increasing the number of women on government boards, and in the FTSE 350
- addressing the discrimination and inequalities that LGB&T people face
- eliminating homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in schools
- promoting the rights of British citizens abroad and using our influence to promote international equality
- supporting cross-government strategies, such as; increasing female participation in the labour market, and preventing violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Who we work with
The Government Equalities Office reports to Justine Greening, the Minister for Women and Equalities, and Caroline Dinenage the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years.
We work across government, but in particular we work closely with:
- the Department for Education which is responsible for the Equality Act’s provisions relating to schools and children
- the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) which leads on integration, race and faith policy, and community issues
- the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which leads on disability discrimination policy and legislation, and general age policy outside the workplace
- the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) which provides the broad policy for further and higher education, has responsibility for the Equality Act’s provisions relating to age, and exceptions to the Act’s working provisions; Women on Board’s Review, maternity and paternity leave, and flexible working
- the Department for Transport which is responsible for the Equality Act’s provisions on disability and transport
- HM Treasury which is responsible for economic participation
- the Home Office which leads on hate crime and violence against women and girls
- the Department of Culture Media and Sport DCMS which leads on women in digital, women in sport, and online abuse
- the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) which leads on human rights policy, marriage policy women offenders, forced marriage, and the Gender Recognition Act 2004
We also work closely with:
- the Cabinet Office on civil society;
- the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
We sponsor 1 non departmental public body: The Equality and Human Rights Commission.
We also provide funding for the Equality Advisory and Support Service which provides free advice and support to people in England, Scotland and Wales facing discrimination or human rights issues.