These policies were influenced by Legislation and Government Policies, Commissions and other groups dealing with gender related issues.
The Council has chosen to deal with the issue of gender specifically because there have been many cases of sexual discrimination in the country and other surrounding areas. This has been witnessed in both provisions of services and also during employment practices. It is also essential for the Council to address the needs of specific groups within the organisation. By placing gender into the policy framework of the Council, it is demonstrating that it does not consider all members of the Council as a homogenous group. It recognises that there are distinct groups who have different characteristics, behaviours and even needs. Sheffield Council is currently implementing this policy from the year 2007 to 2010. It is therefore imperative to analyse it because it is already an issue that has been employed. Besides this, Sheffield Council believes that providing gender equality will contribute towards an eradication of discrimination from the organisation.
The gender equality policy is also very useful to the provision of services by the Council. This is because the policy facilitates equal opportunities during service provision. On top of that, it also prevents harassment and discrimination of women and men during the delivery of services. This also applies to members of the public who may be applying for a job or those who may already be working within the organisation. In this sense, gender equality will make the Council more effective by doing the following for the organisation;
enforcing equality in policy making
enforcing equality in delivery of services
enforcing equality in regulation of employment practice
enforcing equality in enforcement of employment practice
Gender equality will therefore make the Council more efficient. (Egan and Lofhjelm, 2001)
It is crucial to remember that most of the laws that have been put in place like the Sex discrimination Act may not be entirely effective. The act deals with sexual discrimination in two sectors that is; within an organisation and also with regard to provision of services and goods. In spite of that, the law will only be enforced after an act of sexual discrimination has taken place. In so doing, the act will not protect its victims. Victims are supposed to take their cases to court and ensure that they get the legal system to work for them. But there are a lot of insecurities that arise in the minds of victims when considering the legal system. It is possible that one may loose the case after dedicating a large portion of their resources and time. Most people have also realised that there may be likelihoods of loosing their sources of employments. One must also not forget the psychological stresses that come from reliving the horrendous experiences. All these factors serve as a deterrent for people who have been victimised on the basis of their gender. But incorporating gender into the policies of the Council will help tackling the issue from its roots. This is because the policy will prevent acts of harassment from occurring.
Lastly, the government has placed responsibility on all bodies dealing with the public. They are