International equality

We coordinate, negotiate and present the UK positions on gender, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) and equality issues within the European Union, United Nations, Commonwealth and Council of Europe.

We also work to fulfill the UK’s international commitments and promote best practice and statutory compliance on gender and equality issues, including LGB&T across a range of international and regional institutions.

United Nations

The UK participates in international inter-governmental mechanisms for the advancement of women and gender equality, and has signed up to relevant international commitments, including the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol, and the non-binding Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Women.

We work with all UK government departments on these commitments, we follow up on their implementation, and coordinate cross-ministerial reporting to the UN. 

More information about our work with the United Nations.

European Union

We work with various EU institutions, including the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.

We contribute to the development of common standards and regulations to protect UK interests and promote best practices related to gender equality.

More about our work with the European Union.

Council of Europe

The UK is a member of the Council of Europe and participates in its Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG).

We work to co-ordinate, negotiate and present UK positions within the CDEG in areas such as violence against women, political representation and tackling the pay gap. These negotiations in turn inform the Council of Europe’s Council of Ministers.

Details about the Council of Europe work on equality.  


As a member of the Commonwealth, the UK supports the strategy of gender mainstreaming and the related Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action (2005-2015).

We work across the UK government to implement its commitments on the Gender Plan of Action. We also liaise across government to coordinate, negotiate and present the UK positions on gender equality, including the Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM) and the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

The work of the Commonwealth on equalities.

Share |