Headlines: June 19th, 2006

From today people across Wales are being asked for their views on what the Assembly Government needs to do to improve equality between men and women. From April next year all public authorities will be required by new legislation to have plans in place to promote gender equality.The Assembly Government today holds the first of a a series of events at which members of the public can air their views on the areas they would like the Government to address as part of these plans. The Equality Minister, Jane Hutt, said she wanted as many men and women of all ages as possible to take part.

“As well as being required to have plans in place to eliminate sexual discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women we are also required to publish a Gender Equality Scheme,” she said and added that she wanted to hear the opinions of men and women across Wales on what was important to them. It might be pay, discrimination issues, work opportunities or something else. “This will help inform our Gender Equality Scheme and help us take account of the different needs of women and men when planning policies,” Jane Hutt said.

The first of the consulation events takes place from 10.30 until 2 today in Mold, with a second one scheduled for Wednesday in Cardiff Bay and the last of the three sessions at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in Carmarthenshire the following day.