a1 Research Officer, Department of Social Policy, University of Oxford
a2 Research Officer, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics
a3 Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics
In 2007 the UK established a new single equalities body, to bring together the existing equality Commissions dealing with gender, disability, and race and ethnicity into a Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The promotion and enforcement of ‘equality and diversity’ is one of the three duties of the new body. This paper briefly explores diversity in relation to the theory of gender equality and also examines developments in policy at the EU level, which has provided much of the impetus for change. Our focus is on the policy approach and the tensions that the policy documents reveal about the emphasis on equality and diversity approach, in particular the extent to which attention to gender issues may get lost in the diversity bundle, and the extent to which a focus on the individual may be strengthened over the group.
* Author for correspondence. I acknowledge the support of ESRC grant no. RES 225-25-2001 and am grateful for the helpful comments received at the Gender Equality Network Conference, 14 December 2006, Queens’ College, Cambridge.