Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Government 'Equalities' Office

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Thursday, 20 June 2013


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As you say sexism in ignoring men. It's a sort of compliment to men in that it assumes men are much more capable of sorting out their problems without help. This problem of sleeping rough is the tip of an iceberg. Local Authorities all operate variations on a housing criteria( often a " points" system) which effectively means men of working age are not going to get any help in being rehoused once homeless. This means men are the vast majority of those in hostels, sofa surfing or temporarily with family or friends. Just as the welfare system is largely welfare to women so the state funded housing sectors are effectively disproportionately a female service. Maybe men are more resilient in general but if they fall on hard times then only some of the voluntary sector is there to help.


Of course homelessness of any kind is a terrible thing and if men and women were equal this argument would be valid. Women are more vulnerable for a number of reasons, not that the men aren't vulnerable and secondly a woman has less time to turn her life around. For both cultural and physiological reasons women have a reduced window of fertility etc. as compared to a man. As being homeless affects a woman more unfavorably than a man and also the possibility of the woman bearing children that would come to harm as the woman is not in a position to raise them it is more bad and thus more newsworthy to focus on the women.

If the article didn't go into detail about the men does that mean that the opinion of the person is that a man is deserving of being homeless? I would suggest not.


If the genders were reversed, it would have been considered a national and global crisis; especially since we have similarly high numbers for homeless men in the US.

I have to shake my head at people that wonder why I have a problem with inflammatory stats like "1 in 3 women will be raped OR physically abused ( yeah, sitting rape beside physical abuse is misleading to say the least) in their lifetime" whilst all these campaigns call it a "global crisis". Nothing of the sort for men that make up the vast majority of homelessness and suicide.


Andrew I do take some of your points. Effectively men are assumed to be, and generally are, more resilient. Of course this may just be because they have to be as their society isn't for offering help to males. However the sexism stands as there is a clear double standard. The rules should apply to need not the sex of those in need.

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