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Sex Equality

Volume 959: debated on Thursday 30 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he hopes to implement EEC legislation ensuring women equality with men in social security rights.

I very much welcome the agreement which we have reached on an EEC directive which will represent a major step towards full equality for women. It provides, subject to some exceptions affecting widowhood and maternity benefits, child benefit and certain other long-term benefits, that within six years men and women must enjoy equal entitlement to personal social security benefits and increases for dependent adults and children. We shall of course be considering how the directive should be implemented and I shall report further to the House in due course.