"This Report tells me that people with disfigurements have been left behind in Britain’s progress towards being a fair and equal society" - The Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge DBE

Foreword:

The RT Hon Dame Margaret Hodge DBE

margaret_hodge

I am delighted to have been asked to write the Foreword for this very important report because I have kept a watching eye on the experiences of people with disfigurements ever since the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 first addressed the issue. Changing Faces was responsible for ensuring that they were covered by that Act and when I was Minister for Disabled People in the early 2000s, I was made very aware of some of the challenges they faced.

But this Report tells it more starkly than I had appreciated – undoubtedly justifying the legal protection now existing under the Equality Act 2010 but suggesting that it is probably insuffcient and inadequate.

What you will read is that the lives of people with all sorts of disfigurements to their face and body are disadvantaged by attitudes and behaviours towards them that belittle, undermine and understandably distress them. And the perpetrators are no one specific group but include all of us – everyone in our appearance-obsessed culture needs to take action to rectify this – and many of our institutions do too.

This Report tells me that people with disfigurements have been left behind in Britain’s progress towards being a fair and equal society. I commend it to you – and hope you will commit to help make the changes so very obviously needed.

Margaret Hodge
May 2017

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