I have just discovered that, in Ireland, seemingly without an official announcement or any explanation , the ‘Minister for Justice, Equality and Women’s Rights’ recently became the ‘Minister for Justice and Equality’. The thinking, reportedly, remains the same, and a glance at the homepage for The Department of Justice and Equality reveals that their Gender Equality Division is working on (and consulting the public on) a National Women’s Strategy. However, the fact that they have felt the need to cover up their partisanship – and that this move hasn’t been publicised by the government – speaks volumes.The name change is surely a recognition that an overt concern only for women’s rights is becoming untenable. while . It’s only a name change, however, and the covert concern for women only will continue. In the UK there are plenty of bodies with seemingly non-ideological titles – the Equality and Human Rights Commission being an obvious example – while their focus is overwhelmingly on “women’s rights”.
I have sent The Department for Justice and Equality a FOI request asking when and why this happened, but won’t hold my breath…
I predict it won’t be long before the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons renames itself the Equalities Committee, following the recent appointment of Philip Davies MP.