Campaigning charity Make Space for Girls and law firm Weightmans have produced a Q&A on how the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) applies to facilities for teenagers.
Make Space for Girls suggested that parks and public spaces “don’t work for teenage girls”, adding that “up and down the country, outdoors facilities for teenagers are mostly used by boys, and girls end up with nowhere to go”.
The note, which can be found here, covers all the most common questions and sets out how the PSED applies to facilities for teenagers and how councils can use it in practice to create parks and public spaces which work better for all teenagers.
Susannah Walker, a co-founder of the charity said: “Facilities for teenagers almost always means a skate park or a fenced pitch, which tend to be dominated by boys. This discrimination often goes unnoticed - but that’s what we want to change.”
Imogen Clark, Make Space for Girls' other co-founder, said: “Once councils become aware of the discrimination, most want to change things. The PSED provides a great framework to support this. But when we talk to councillors we get asked a lot of questions about how the duty works for parks and public spaces. So we are delighted to have teamed up with national law firm Weightmans to produce a note to respond to some of these.”
Simon Goacher, Partner at Weightmans who assisted with the project, said: “We are pleased to have been able to support Make Space for Girls with this advice note for local authorities on PSED, which we hope offers some clarity on how it can be used to develop and deliver accessible and safe facilities for girls within the community.
“I would urge any council seeking guidance on the application of PSED to contact the firm and we can offer specific advice for your circumstances.”
Make Space for Girls and Weightmans stressed that the note is a general guide to this area of law: "it is not legal advice and councils should seek their own advice on particular issues that they face".