Fiona Mackay

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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This article outlines the contested concepts of gender equality and debates within feminist scholarship. It then contrasts these complex understandings with the impoverished conceptions of gender and equality in public and political discourse and argues that there is a need for a common language of gender. In addition, the article describes a range of British and comparative literature to survey and contextualize political and institutional developments over three decades. There have been fundamental changes to gender relations in Britain since the 1970s, as evidenced by the transformation in the status and roles of women. The current trajectory in the UK is one of an evolution from gender mainstreaming to equality and diversity mainstreaming as the predominant approach to the management of equalities issues. The Equalities Review has argued that new, more applicable accounts of equality are needed, and a political and public consensus on equality.

Keywords: gender equality; feminist scholarship; Britain; women; Equalities Review

Article.  7854 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

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