SOAS University of London

Report calling for a review of the Equality Act presented to 10 Downing Street

28 July 2022

Dr Suriyah Bi, Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of History, Religions and Philosophies was invited to present her report, “The Equality Act 12 years on” to 10 Downing Street on 18 July 2022 follow the launch event in Parliament on 6 July. 

Dr Bi has conducted the largest and most comprehensive review of the Equality Act to date. The report argues that the current protected characteristics need to be strengthened, and new protected characteristics such as accent, social class, weight, hair (i.e. afro, braids), ought also to receive protected characteristic status.

The report also features a forward from Lord Simon Woolley and Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Women and Equalities.

Commenting on her experience presenting the report to 10 Downing Street, Dr Bi said: 

"I have long campaigned for the Equality Act to be reviewed, and to bridge academia and policy makers to drive social change. To see the hard work translate into presenting my academic research to Downing Street is a surreal experience. Despite being entirely underfunded since our founding, I am incredibly proud of our growth."

The launch event for the report on 6 July in Parliament brought together academics, MPs, D&I leads, and community members. 

Dr Bi founded the Equality Act Review and leads the campaign with the support of three SOAS MA students with Rebekah Clark, MA student in Migration and Diaspora Studies who has been interning with the Equality Act Review since January 2022, through the “from theory to practice” module. 

Read the report. 

Visit the Equality Act Review website. 

Suriyah 10 Downing St