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Government Equalities Office: Policy Relating to Men

Volume 736: debated on Wednesday 12 July 2023

5. If she will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of including policy relating to men on the list of Government Equalities Office responsibilities. (905954)

The Government are already taking action to improve outcomes for men and boys. For example, through the introduction of shared parental leave, men now have more opportunity to take time away from the workplace to care for their children. We continue to work closely across Government to embed equalities policies for both men and women.

I thank the Minister for her answer, but does she believe that there should be a Minister for Men, as there is a Minister for Women?

I thank my hon. Friend for his hard work in this space as chair of the all-party group on issues affecting men and boys. He knows—this is with my health hat on—of the work that we are doing to improve lung cancer outcomes for men, and about the suicide prevention strategy that will be coming forward; we know that middle-aged men are at particular risk. I reassure him that the Equality Hub has responsibility for both men and women to ensure equality for all, and I will speak to the Minister for Women and Equalities so that we can be clearer about how that work impacts on men.

Current legislation requires all public facilities to have sanitary bins in female and gender-neutral toilets. However, as highlighted by the Boys Need Bins campaign, hygiene bins need to be provided in men’s toilets. What steps is the Minister taking to introduce legislation that addresses that issue?

I reassure the hon. Lady that work is going on in that space. My ministerial colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions are looking at this, and will be updating the House shortly.[Official Report, 17 July 2023, Vol. 736, c. 9MC.]