This section looks at current UK statute laws which either have a gender imbalance in the wording of the legislation, or which are significantly imbalanced in their application
Laws which disadvantage men
Law and date
Nature of imbalance
Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953
When a child is not born within a marriage, inclusion of the father on the registration of birth (birth certificate) depends either on agreement by the mother, or a court order (Section 10). A father may not register a birth of his own child.
Abortion Act 1968
The father has no right to take part in the decision to abort a foetus. The law states that the decision is taken by the mother and two medical practitioners.
Children Act 1989
The mother gets parental rights automatically, but the father, if unmarried, needs to acquire them in ways which require the mother’s consent.
Human Tissue Act 2004
Unless married or having parental rights, the father may not take a sample for a DNA test from a child without the mother’s consent. In other words: if the mother claims he is the father he has no right to check! This facilitates paternity fraud.
Sexual Offences Act 2003
Rape is defined as penetration with a penis, and so can only be committed by a man.
“Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent” (Section 4), which includes coercion, can be committed by either sex. However, the minimum sentence for one is 5 yrs prison while for the other it is community service.
Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 and Equalities Act 2010
Amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to specifically allow female-only election shortlists etc. It removes the law backing equality of opportunity and permits bias so long as it is “adopted for the purpose of reducing inequality in the numbers of men and women elected” .
Minister for Women and Equalities
The remit of the minister is to deal with discrimination, so, why ‘Women and Equalities’? Why not just ‘Minister for Equalities’?
Laws which disadvantage women.
None that we are aware of.