This guide covers the practical steps you need to take to submit evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee’s Inquiry on GRA Reform.
It doesn’t discuss the content in any detail – but some links to articles which do are provided at the bottom of the page.
The deadline is 27th November 2020.
- Read the call for evidence
- Read the government’s guidance on submitting evidence to a committee.
- Consider which questions you want to answer based on your experience / expertise and which are most important to you.
- Decide whether you’re submitting as:
- An individual
- A group of individuals
- An organisation
- A group of organisations
WRITING THE SUBMISSION
- Download our template if you would like to use it, or start from scratch on a Word document (or ODT or RDF)
- Length: be concise. No more than 3,000 words.
- A tip: Use section headings and number your paragraphs. This isn’t compulsory but it’s advised.
- Images: don’t include logos.
- The document should start with an “executive summary”. Sum up your main points. Use bullet points. It might be easiest to write this last.
- Next: an introduction – the government guidance says you should “explain who you are and why you are sending us evidence”
- Then, pick and choose the questions that are most important to you and respond to them. (The questions are on the call for evidence)
- Talk from your own experience/expertise. The committee want evidence. Your own testimonial of your own life experiences is counted as evidence.
- You CAN also refer to work published elsewhere, including your own work, but they won’t accept previous work submitted AS your response. So, simply link to it and explain the relevance.
- Important – include any recommendations you have, for action by the Government or others
- Before you submit, it’s a good idea to re-read the Government’s guidance on submitting evidence to check you’ve met their brief:
- You CAN’T PUBLISH your response anywhere before the committee do. They may reject it if you do. However, after they’ve published it online, then you can share it.
- You can ask to be anonymous, they probably will comply, but they don’t guarantee it.
- Size: It shouldn’t be over 3,000 words or 25MB
- Deadline: 27th November
Don’t assume the Committee have any prior understanding of the issues; the MPs on this committee are fairly new.
“The Committee is mostly new members who will not have been involved in previous considerations so it will be important to make sure they understand the issues and hear women’s voices. They must be in no doubt that these proposals do not simply impact a small number of people and that for any changes to be effective they must take into account the views and concerns of the whole population but, in particular, women and those with other protected characteristics.”
For detailed guidance on the content and helpful links, see WPUK’s guide: How to submit evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry on GRA reform.
If you have any tips, please share them in the comments section at the bottom of the page..
SUBMITTING YOUR RESPONSE
- You will need to submit your document online. Click the “Start” button at the bottom of the call for evidence page.
- The online form will ask for your surname and email address. You can also add your title, first name, occupation and phone number if you would like to. And if you’re submitting on behalf of an organisation it’ll ask for the name of the organisation and your role in it.
- The online form will then ask you to upload your document.
- Presumably after that it asks you about confidentially – you can’t see this until you’ve submitted (if anyone has done this already, please let us know what it says next by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.)
Ten top tips: how to write really useful evidence
- Keep your evidence short and to the point.
- Write in plain English and explain any technical terms.
- Use section headings and numbered paragraphs.
- We can’t accept evidence that has already been published, or that is intended to be published elsewhere, but you can quote from or refer to published material.
- Include factual information you think the Committee will find useful, particularly if it comes from you or your organisation’s own knowledge, work or research.
- Set out the actions you would like Government or others to take, and explain why these actions would improve things.
- Include your thoughts about the most important questions that the Committee should ask the Government.
- Think about what you or your organisation can bring to the debate that others might not. What is your unique perspective or expertise
- Send us your evidence as early as you can—this gives the Committee more time to take it into account.
- [Read] all the information on this page to make sure your evidence meets our requirements and doesn’t include any material that might cause us to reject it.
These tips are from the Government’s advice on submitting evidence to a Select Committee.
For more info, including discussion of the issues:
If you have any useful links or tips, please share them in the comments section below.