Equality Structures and Overview
The Equality Directorate comprises two Divisions – Equality, Rights and Social Need Division and Good Relations and Reconciliation Division (which includes North Belfast Community Action Unit).
Much of the work of the Directorate involves issues which cut across all Departments and its officials chair and participate in interdepartmental groups to take forward joint working on such issues.
The directorate works closely with the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) on issues relating to victims and survivors, equality and human rights and with the NIO and the Department for Social Development (DSD) on community development/community relations issues.
Equality Rights and Social Need Division
A number of issues for which the Directorate has responsibility are politically sensitive. These are outlined below.
- through policy and strategy, we tackle poverty and social exclusion, assist vulnerable groups and ultimately provide better opportunities for people to avail of key services such as education, housing, health and employment.
Equality and Human Rights
- we work closely with the Equality Commission to make people as individuals, more aware of the support that is available to them and through sponsorship of the Commission, we help employers understand their duties and responsibilities.
Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality
- we support, develop and co-ordinate policy and strategy across the NICS to deliver and promote gender equality and help tackle gender inequalities.
- we support, develop and co-ordinate policy and strategy across the NICS to deliver and promote sexual orientation equality and help tackle sexual orientation inequalities.
- we ultimately aim to protect citizens through the legislation we produce across a range of grounds of varying types of discrimination – Employment and Goods Facilities and Services.
- we provide research and statistical support for a Programme of Cohesion, Sharing and Integration; Racial Equality Strategy; Children and Young People’ Strategy; Victims / Survivors Strategy; Equality and Social Need Research and statistical support.