How fair is Britain for women?

Key findings on gender inequality from our first Triennial Review

Every three years the Commission is required to report to Parliament on the progress that society is making towards a more equal society that respects and promotes human rights and good relations. How Fair is Britain? the first such review was published on 11 October 2010. This first Review focuses primarily on equalities. Many issues of relevance to human rights and good relations are covered but follow-on reviews on human rights and good relations will be published in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The Review presents evidence for people who share common characteristics, which are: age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender status, against a set of equality indicators across 8 different areas: life, physical and legal security, health, education, employment, standard of living, care and support and power and voice.1 The Review gives the best available data to show how these different groups fare in relation to the indicators.

Gender profiles in Great Britain, England, Scotland and Wales

Across Great Britain, in all three nations, women constitute just over half the population because there are more women in older age groups than men. Men outnumber women to the 25-34- year-old band but thereafter women outnumber men.2
> for more on this, see Appendix 3: Equality groups, Box A3.4.1

‘How Fair is Britain?’ -  Main challenges and significant findings

Having amassed the evidence against the equality indicators in ‘How Fair is Britain?’ to conclude, the Commission carried out a simple analysis to identify which out of all the different challenges and inequalities in modern society, are the most significant and the most urgently in need of resolution.3 

In this section we have set out the evidence for gender that relates to these significant challenges.


1 Alkire, S., Bastagli, F., Burchardt, T., Clark, D., Holder, H., Ibrahim, S., Munoz, M., Terrazas, P., Tsang, T. and Vizard, P. 2009. Developing the Equality Measurement Framework: selecting the indicators. Research Report 31. Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.

2 Equality and Human Rights Commission calculations from ONS, 2010, Mid-2009 population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Published 24 June 2010

3 For more information about the analysis please see Equality and Human Rights Commission. 2010.  How Fair is Britain? Chapter 17: An agenda for fairness. Page 657

Last Updated: 02 Mar 2011