Fund initiative which aims to achieve greater equality in primary health outcomes by providing health information and services that suit men. The services are delivered within the community rather than in traditional health services settings. The locations picked - which include pubs, barbershops, mosques, shops, betting shops and sporting clubs - have been selected because they are places where men in the target group are likely to feel comfortable.
Activities within the project have been designed to raise awareness, deliver services and information, improve men's and boy's health outcomes and ensure health services are relevant and effective. The project’s work includes health screening with lower-income groups, school projects on puberty and body changes, projects with young men excluded from mainstream education and with homeless men, running an information and advice centre in a school, testicular self-examination and anti-bullying projects, and promoting health messages through sports and gardening projects, as well as a variety of health information and promotion events.
Making decisions on changing design or delivery of services
Because the duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between women and men, it requires more than an acceptance of the status quo. For example, a gender analysis of enrolment on courses in further education might show that more men than women access engineering and IT courses. The reasons for this will be complex and varied. If a college wishes to challenge gender inequalities and facilitate women's access to technical qualifications, then it may decide to take action which could potentially increase applications from women. For example the college could take positive action by targeting women with relevant information or offering help with childcare. In this way, women's choices will not be constrained by lack of information or obstacles such as caring responsibilities. It is also usually the case that men are under-represented in the caring professions, such as nursing or childcare. As good practice, public authorities should consider existing research and examples of good practice to assist them in analysing the reasons for this and taking steps to address it, such as actively promoting the advantages of work in this area to boys in school.
The Accelerating Women's Development Partnership (AWE) brings together a number of leading agencies operating at the cutting edge of women's enterprise development spanning the English regions. Together they have developed a programme of activities and interventions that test approaches to ensure that mainstream business support meets the needs of excluded groups of women, such as ethnic minority women, lone parents, women returners, unemployed and low income women, disabled women, young and older women and women from deprived rural and urban areas. Their initiatives include researching the financial needs of women’s businesses in order to develop new financial products; a best-practice guide on micro-credit for women entrepreneurs; post-loan support, and the development of women’s time banks and peer lending circles. They have also developed a training pack for bankers and policy-makers on the issues affecting women entrepreneurs.
Ensuring single-sex activities comply with the law
The gender equality duty requires public authorities proactively to address the individual needs of women and men in all their functions. In certain circumstances, they may therefore wish to address gender inequality by developing policies or providing services