Sexual Equality

The 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to treat people differently because of their sex. Unfortunately, sexual discrimination does occur. The Equality and Human Rights Commission works to all kinds of discrimination across Britain. To find out more call 0845 604 6610 or visit the website at

This website will give you more information on issues including:

  • Equal pay
  • Sexual harassment
  • Family friendly working
  • Part-time work
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Dismissal and redundancy
  • Relationships at work
  • Transsexualism

The Equality and Human Rights Comission receives complaints from members of the public who have been banned from using facilities because these are intended for the opposite sex. Examples include men who have been refused leisure services because they are for women only and women who have been refused access to sporting events because they are for men only.

See the Equality and Human Rights Comission website to find out what your rights are in such situations. The website also contains information about sexual discrimination at school and college.

Gender bullying

Being bullied by someone of the opposite sex is just as harmful and wrong as any other form of bullying.

You might be being bullied by someone of the opposite sex and feel too embarrassed to tell anybody. Or perhaps you feel that you should be able to deal with the situation yourself – or that people will think you’re weak if you report the bullying.

As with all bullying, you should never feel that you have to suffer in silence. You might be physically stronger than a bully, but that doesn’t mean it’s right to react with violence or that you should have to cope with the situation on your own.

Speak to someone you trust, such as a family member, carer, teacher, boss or colleague (depending on where the bullying is taking place) and get the situation dealt with as soon as possible. It’s the bully that’s in the wrong, not you.

Sexuality bullying

If you are being picked on verbally, emotionally or physically because of your sexuality then you do not have to put up with it. Whether you fancy boys, girls or both, you’re entitled to lead a happy and safe life just like everybody else.

Schools and workplaces have to make sure everyone has the same opportunities, regardless of their sexuality. So if bullying means that your education or work performance is being affected, you have every right to report it and to expect the situation to be dealt with effectively.

If you experience homophobic bullying, hold your head high and be proud of who you are. Don’t stoop to the bully’s level by engaging in arguments or violence; instead, report the bullying to someone you trust, who can help you deal with the situation.

You can find out more about sexuality on this site.

Who can help?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission exists to eliminate discrimination of all kinds and give men and women an equal chance in life. Visit their website at or phone them on 0845 604 6610.

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