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What part can the law play in bringing about greater fairness in our society?

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Introduction

What part can the law play in bringing about greater fairness in our society? The needs and demands of our society have forced governments to develop and implement values and ideas, in order for them to design and create polices which will lead to greater equality within our society. These ideas are forwarded to the House of Commons and The House of Lords and it is here that the ideas are debated and considered. If they are then considered effective they can then be implemented within our society to combat inequalities. These ideas go through various stages as "bills" and can be amended whilst it is being considered within the House of Lords, If it is successful it receives "Royal absent and passes into a law as an act of parliament" (Intro to social policy, Cliff Alcock, pg, 62) To date many important equal opportunities legislations have been introduced to create a fairer society, for example the disability employment act 1944 and 1958 and 1995. The act has many main points but a key factor of the act is that it has opened up the work market for disabled people as employers having more then 20 employees have a "3 percent quota system". (Equal opportunities and social policy, Barbara Bagilhole, pg 179) Thus larger companies have a responsibility to recruit disable people as part of there work force. ...read more.

Middle

Many of the legislations that have been implemented, have been done so with the hope that time and education will be the key forces behind change, and be the starting point for changing society's beliefs and incorporating more fairness within society due to awareness. The Equal opportunities commission which was established, under the Sex discrimination Act and now works towards promoting equality and removing discrimination within our society (www.eoc.org.uk). Believed that the 1975 sex discrimination act has brought many positive changes and women have been able to make it into positions of power. In 1972 Rose Heilbron QC was the "first women judge to sit at the Old Bailey" (men, women and equality pg 2.), in 1979 Britain saw its first ever women Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher and to this day women are still "breaking through" into positions of power within the corporate world. In addition women are making progress into so-called men's jobs e.g. the stock market, banking industry and the army. Yvonne Pope in 1975 was the first women to become a jet airline captain and Anne Winter in 1983 was the first women train driver. These women allow other women and younger girls to see that they can be equal to man if given the opportunities and are encouraged. A key factor in combating inequality has been the changes that have been made in education. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Government has introduced legislation were by parents are allowed to take unpaid leave for up to thirteen weeks to be with there children, unfortunately many cannot afford to do this Although the law has allowed key changes which has been beneficial to both men and women the law may not be the only answer, most importantly gender views need to be reshaped and the expectance of women to be house wives needs to be challenged. Perhaps the role that fathers play in the family needs to be increased thus taking the pressure of the mothers so that they can, and be motivated enough to want to succeed in decision-making jobs. However the Government has to be cautious not to impose too many legislations as this could and may cause further discrimination indirectly, as companies feel they have to employ people for certain reasons and not necessary because they are right for the job. Finally and most importantly gender views do need to be reshaped by employees and employers to bring radical changes within work this could be as simple as flexible hours, and hopefully progressing into changing what is expected from men and women within certain jobs. Only through the introduction of legislations, and bodies such as the equal commission can employers strive to become more human and thus create greater fairness within our society. ...read more.

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