Letter: Equal opportunities

Sir: I write to clarify the Equal Opportunities Commission's position on possible priority for women in the selection of prospective parliamentary candidates ("Equality law could bring more female MPs", 29 December). The EOC has no proposals for the current legislation to be changed to permit this.

The EOC will not be advising the Government next month that the Sex Discrimination Act could be amended to allow parties to give priority to women. Our view is that the law is unclear and, even if the SDA is amended, it will not remove the possibility of a challenge under European Law.

The EOC has developed proposals for amendments to the sex equality laws which have been in place for 22 years. In the course of our consultation we will also be seeking views on the use of positive discrimination in employment and in the selection of prospective parliamentary candidates.



Equal Opportunities Commission