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Analyzing The View That All Legal Approaches To Reducing Inequalities Are Fundamentally Flawed

1969 words - 8 pages

Analyzing The View that All Legal Approaches to Reducing Inequalities
are Fundamentally Flawed

In today's society it is assumed that everyone has the right to equal
opportunities. These equal opportunities include equal access to
public services, to job opportunities and income, the freedom of
access and movement, the right to be free from harassment and equal
access to means of determining equal access, in other words who gets
what, who is excluded and who is not, basically the right to vote. It
can be hard to determine what equal is, does it mean we all get the
same treatment or at least we should do or is equality associated more
with what matches our needs? It's a difficult question to answer, as
we have to then delve into who decides our needs for us. Who is
equality for? Ideally everyone. Most equality issues deal with the
same sets of people, those who are disadvantaged in some way in
society, whether individually or collectively as a group. Some
disadvantaged groups are, Black and minority ethnic groups, young
males, women, gay and lesbian people, faith groups, older people and
those with disabilities. Different equality issues arise within these
different groups and so not all experiences of inequality are the
same, some may fit into more than one group and so have more
inequality to deal with. One of the main methods for attaining
equality is via the law. Most equal opportunity acts or policies focus
on three main areas of inequality, they are, gender, disability and
racial equality. I intend to focus on these three areas, looking at
the laws and policies in place and whether or not all these legal
approaches to reducing inequality are successful or fundamentally
flawed.

Gender inequality goes back centuries but was never really recognised
in law until the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Until this time, women had
suffered a great disadvantage in the work place. In the 19th century
women were excluded from certain areas of work, it was not acceptable
for a woman to do certain jobs, especially in the labour market. In
the 20th century politics focused more on women, giving them more
political and civil rights, women were given the right to vote,
although most voted as their husbands did, whether they wanted to or
not. Domestic violence was recognised also and men beating and
mistreating their wives has become taboo, it's no longer a man's place
to keep his woman in line, she has rights now and so can look after
herself a lot better. After the Second World War women began to occupy
more of what were once male dominated jobs, with all the men at war,
there was no other choice than to allow women into the labour market.
Once they had established their place in the work force there was
little any one could do to stop the increase in women at work,
however, women may have been...

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