The Equality Bill had its second reading on Monday and there were many good speeches explaining why equality is important. John Bercow pointed out that despite all the changes in legislation and, to a degree, in culture, children who are, or who are wrongly thought to be, lesbian, gay or bisexual are harassed and bullied on a monumental scale.
Lynne Featherstone said women in full-time work are paid 17% less than men, and 36% less if they work part-time. A disabled person is two and a half times more likely to be out of work. A person from an ethnic minority is 15.5% less able to find work. Sixty-two percent of over-50s believe they have been turned down for a job because of their age, and six in 10 lesbian or gay schoolchildren experience homophobic bullying.
Julie Morgan mentioned some initiatives in her constituency particularly the Skypad unit based at the University Hospital of Wales. It has special age-appropriate facilities for teenage cancer sufferers. The rooms are geared towards teenagers and there is a chill-out zone as well as computer games. That sort of development, said Ms Morgan, is exactly what we should be encouraging, because it is appropriate for the age of those young people. "They are not children, and they are not adults, but in the health service in general about two thirds of those who are at that in-between age are not in appropriate accommodation." Ms Morgan also talked about representations she had received from the Young Equals campaign (see previous blog)
Video about Skypad Unit