Creating a fairer and more equal society


We want the UK to be a leader in equality and human rights. At our best, we are defined by our tolerance, freedom and fairness.

There is also a strong economic argument for equality. If people are not able to reach their full potential, the economy suffers.

We are working toward a fairer society by improving equality and reducing discrimination and disadvantage for all, at work, in public and political life, and in people’s life chances.


We prevent discrimination (including discrimination based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation) by:

We support and protect the rights of women by:

We protect the rights of children by:

We support and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, including by opening up marriage to same-sex couples.

We support the rights of British citizens abroad and use our influence to support international equality. Our aim is to support equal treatment and equality of opportunity internationally. We negotiate bilaterally and in the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, and Commonwealth to protect and support the rights of British citizens abroad. We use our influence to change culture and attitudes and support equality, in particular on gender, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) equality, leading by example.


The 2010 Equality strategy: building a fairer Britain set out the coalition government’s approach to equality, based on the Equality Act 2010 .

The strategy set out a new approach, aimed at:

  • changing culture and attitudes
  • addressing the causes of inequality
  • building a stronger, fairer and more cohesive society where equality is for everyone and is everyone’s responsibility

It explains a new role for government, promoting equality through transparency and behaviour change and working with businesses, the voluntary sector and wider civil society to create equal opportunities for everyone.

More information on our previous activity is available on the National Archive

Bills and legislation

The Equality Act 2010 bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society. The Act prohibits unfair treatment in access to employment and private and public services regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. More information about the act is available in ‘Equality Act 2010: guidance’

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 grants civil partnerships in the UK the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

The Government has published a consultation paper on the future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in England and Wales

In January 2013, we introduced the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to Parliament.

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