Ruth Mitchell

North East Praised For Approach To Equality

An equality initiative in the North East has received a resounding endorsement from the former Minister for Women and Equality.

Barbara Roache was guest speaker at a major networking event held recently at Archon 2000 in Stockton. The meeting was one of the first of many events to be held throughout the region as part of the ‘Work and Equality Networking for Change Project’ run by Equality North East and funded by the DTI. Barbara explained that 2007 will see a single equalities commission which will take over from the current Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission and eventually the Commission for Racial Equality.

It will also include institutional support for the new legislation on Religion and Belief, Sexual Orientation and Age. At the meeting, Barbara praised the North East for its forward-thinking approach to tackling discrimination. She said: “It has been very important to fight for the new commission to try to end all this. The New commission should look very different and will involve consultation at all levels and have a regional presence. That is why I am so pleased today to see representatives from the Voluntary sector, Strategic Sector, Police, Unions, Small Businesses and many others. Equality North East’s NEtWorking for Change project is spearheading work in this field making The North East way ahead of the rest of the country. “Equality North East’s other work with employers includes the website and the North East Equality Awards.

The Equality Awards are a brilliant idea, they have had great success and are well supported. Projects like this are imperative if we are to achieve Economic Empowerment in the region.“ Equality North East has arranged a series regional meetings and seminars throughout the coming months. Anyone wishing to be involved should contact the Equality North East office on 0191 492 1333.

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