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Women and Equalities Committee - Role and strategy

The Women and Equalities Committee was first appointed by the House of Commons in June 2015. The Committee examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Government Equalities Office and the wider Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, and holds the Government to account on cross-departmental work in relation to equality policy and law, including the Equality Act 2010 and relevant international equality commitments. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Social Mobility Commission.

The Committee is made up of 11 backbench MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Scottish National parties. It is chaired by the Conservative MP, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP.

The Committee fills "a gap" in previous accountability arrangements - the Minister for Women and Equalities and the GEO will now be held to account by a select committee for the Government's performance on equalities (sex, age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership status) issues. The Committee joins more than thirty Parliaments worldwide with dedicated equalities committees.

The creation of an Equalities Committee was recommended by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Parliament in their July 2014 report on Improving Parliament: Creating a better and more representative House (PDF 3.8 MB).