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2020 to Present

Our Country Today

The London 2012 Olympics produced amazing success for both women and men, with Team GB achieving third place in the medal tables and if the women and men’s teams were split the men’s team would still have achieved third place but the women’s team would also have been 7th on the medal table, putting them level with Germany’s overall tally and ahead of Australia, France and Italy.

Although, it cannot be denied that women have come such a very long way since the first wave of the women’s movement at the turn of the 1900’s, we did have a very steep hill to climb and it is wrong to say we are there yet, with government findings suggesting it could take over 70 years to achieve gender balance within the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 boardrooms*.

In 2012 research by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women ranked political representation of women globally.  The UK was ranked 53rd alongside Malawi with 650 Parliamentary seats in the UK and only 145 occupied by women, both countries recorded female representation at 22.3%**. As of the 2012 cabinet re-shuffle there are only 4 women cabinet members out of 27 seats which equates to 14.8% representation of high level cabinet ministers***

November 2012 saw the General Synod (the Church of England’s deliberative and parliamentary body) reject Final Approval to legislation allowing women to become bishops and in February 2013 are considering allowing senior women clergy the ability to attend meetings but without the right to vote. 

According to the Department of Work and Pensions, currently 2.8 million women receive a state pension of under £80 per week compared to only 474,000 of men.  January 2013 white paper reveals 750,000 women who reach pension age in the decade after Single Tier is introduced will on average get a paltry £9 a week extra, although nothing is being done for women prior to the cut off period and the qualifying time is increased from 30 to 35 years.

With unemployment for women reaching a 25 year high, according the Fawcett Society the recession is disproportionately affecting women with twice as many women loosing their jobs as men. Since the start of the recession female unemployment was up by 18 per cent, but male unemployment only rose by 1 per cent. These figures are even worse for middle aged women of 50-65 as unemployment for them up 39% in the last two years. Public sector redundancies will also disproportionately affect women who will have to accept two thirds of the job cuts by 2015.

Women are bearing 70 per cent of cuts to benefits shouldering the burden of councils cutting meals on wheels and after school clubs, women and loosing vital community support, this is also disproportionate as 1 in 5 single women pensioners are in poverty, younger women are needing help with child care which costs about double the amount it did 5 years ago.

Ann Bird, Acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society stated:

“This toxic triple jeopardy is laying waste to women’s equality. Losing a job is devastating for anyone, man or woman. But women typically start off poorer, they tend to earn less, own less, and have less financial security than men. Taking away their jobs, while also cutting their benefits and cancelling the vital services that enable them to juggle jobs with families undermines women’s ability to act independently, to provide for themselves, to be financially self reliant.”
“The end effect is to turn back time on women’s equality. ”

The UK for women is looking bleak, lets do something about it!  There is good news out there, apparently, female entrepreneurs are out performing men and their pay is outstripping males by around 15%, it looks like when we are out of the constraints of working for the boss we seem to be "doing quite nicely thank you" - You Go Girls!

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