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A Fair Deal for Women – Report 2016 Part 1: Women Speak Out on the Economy and Work and Family Life

 Executive Summary 

This report focuses on women’s inequality in the UK, paying attention to economic factors, and work and family life.

It demonstrates the impact of successive governments’ decisions to cut public spending and shows the detrimental impact this has on the lives of women. This report looks at many economic factors including social housing, tax credit cuts, local authority funding, disability benefits and the impact of caring responsibilities on women to illustrate this

Importantly it also argues that women are consistently at an economic disadvantage from the gender pay gap, workplace discrimination, and many have been financially penalised due to changes in the state pension age.

BME women and disabled women have suffered disproportionate additional public spending cuts, as well as systemic discrimination, making significant impacts on their lives.

Some of the key statistics of this report include:

 Of the £82billion in tax increases and cuts in social security spending announced in 2010, 81% will come from women.

 The top 1% earners in the UK received £3billion in tax cuts since 2010, of which 85% were men

 1 in 5 young women have been offered a job that pays below minimum wage.

 Women’s average personal pensions are only 62% of the average for men

 From 2007-2012 the number of black and black British people in top management fell by a drastic 42%

 1 in 9 mothers reported to have been forced out of the workplace after becoming pregnant

 Between 2010 and 2015 local councils have lost 27% of their spending power with some support services being cut by 45%

This report looks at the potential solutions 

 A gendered analysis across all government policy making to assess the impact policies will have on women and those with other protected characteristics such as race and disability.

 Policies should be adjusted to rebalance the current economic inequality in society with particular attention paid to poverty and social security

 Flexible working and affordable childcare are crucial to ensure a more efficient workforce and equal society.

 Measures need to be taken by decision makers to address gender and racial stereotypes through preventative measures in education

 Workplace training policies should include unconscious bias training that focuses on race, disability and gender stereotypes, both negative and positive, that exist in people’s subconscious and affects behaviour.

 Policy that recognises that women are responsible for the majority of unpaid caring which can have long term and detrimental effects to their careers and earning potential.

 Women should not be punished financially for taking on caring responsibilities and steps should be taken to ensure greater value is placed on this ultimately pushing decision makers make this an absolute priority.

This research corresponds to the Fair Deal for Women campaign (http://fairdealforwomen.com/). It also aims to bring to life the issues by featuring quotes from women from the Women Speak Out project who live at the forefront of structural inequality and who feel the effects of these everyday (https://womenspeakout.wrc.org.uk/).

If you would like to contact any of the women quoted in this report, or for comment on the Autumn Statement, please contact florence@wrc.org.uk