Equality and Diversity

Task A Research report
Defining equality and diversity
The terms equality and diversity are often used interchangeably but while linked, they each have a different focus that is important to understand.  
Equality focuses on creating a fairer society, where all individuals can take part in and access the same opportunities. It is underpinned by a legal framework which places statutory duties on individuals, communities and organisations to ensure that no one is disadvantaged as a result of a number of protected characteristics.   These protected characteristics are:
  * Age -   Age includes treating someone less favourably for reasons relating to their age (whether young or old)
  * Disability -     A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
  *   Gender Reassignment -     The process of transitioning from one gender to another.
  *   Marriage and Civil Partnership - Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'.   Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
  * Pregnancy and Maternity - Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. Protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth.   This includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.  
  * Race - Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins
  * Religion or beliefs - Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious convictions and beliefs including philosophical belief and lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life...