Posts Tagged ‘autism’

Changing the law is only the start in tackling discrimination

06/12/2012, 07:00:07 AM

by Peter Watt

Attacking discrimination in all of its forms has been something that unites many from across the political spectrum.  Many political battles fought over the years to pass legislation that seeks to end discrimination.  In fact Wikipedia has a very helpful list of all of the UK Acts passed over the years, and it is quite a list:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • Equality Act 2006
  • Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975,
  • Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Race Relations Act 1968
  • Race Relations Act 1965
  • Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928
  • Representation of the People Act 1918

Every one of these will have been hard fought and will often have been resisted.  Each was dramatic in its impact and generally led rather than followed public opinion in the area of life that it sought to influence. And the social change that can be charted in this list is worth reflecting on.

It starts with extending the franchise to all men and then all women and ends with an Act that brings together the series of laws passed outlawing discrimination on the basis of race, disability, religion or belief, gender, age and sexuality.  And let’s not forget that there have also been other battles fought along the way that have slowly made life fairer.  For instance, one of the proudest moments for many of us of the last Labour government was the passing of the civil partnership act (2004).


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