So where do we actually stand as women in the UK Today - Here are the Facts

Overview



Women are 51% of the UK population.  We are constantly being told by the media and powers that be that we have already achieved equality in work, power and the criminal justice system.  We are being told that women have a fair representation in government, wealth distribution and pensions.  Well here are the facts from UK government sources and surveys.  They speak for themselves so lets not pretend any more that we are anywhere close to equality, equal representation or fairness in society.  

Women in Business

 

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Counting Women in
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Unlocking the Female Economy
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Women in Power

Lets start at the top, The UK Government.  Out of 650 seats in government 145 are held by women that places us a shameful 53rd in the the world alongside Malawi for women's representation in government.(1)​  (Update: as of 2013 it's now 64th in global rankings of women’s representation, as discussed on March 6th in the Lords debate on the status of women)



From 2006 to 2007/8, the number of female members of the cabinet fell from 35% in 2006 to 26% and it now stands at 13.6%



The Equality and Human Rights Commission (2008) suggested that at the current rate of change it will take more than 70 years to achieve gender-balanced boardrooms in the UK’s FTSE 100 companies.(2)



According to the Deputy Prime Minister in his statement dated 13 Nov 2012 " there are about one million women missing from the UK economy.  This absence of women from our economy is costing us dearly. If the United Kingdom had, for example, the same proportion of female entrepreneurs as the United States, we would see an extra £42bn on GDP"(3)



Presence of women in UK political institutions 2013



22.5% Members of Parliament 
13.6% The Cabinet 
21.7% House of Lords 
35.7% Members of the Scottish Parliament 
41.7% Members of the National Assembly for Wales
18.5% Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland
12.3% Local Authority Council
32.0% Local Councillors 
33.3% UK Members of the European Parliament (4)



There are now only two women chief executives running UK FTSE 100 companies that's 98% male.(5) - Sex and Power 2013: Who Runs Britain?’



The trade unions are highly male dominated and all the very large trade unions excluding two which represent teachers, are led by men (5)



23% of Judges in England and Wales and 21% of Judges in Scotland are women, compared to the European average of 48%, only 2 other countries are less represented; Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Only 1 woman sits in the supreme court.

Male health professionals, which includes doctors, administrators and other senior health workers, earn £82,674 a year, double female workers doing the same full-time jobs on £44,232.

Our Criminal Justice System for Women - The Victims (10)

1 in 4 women will become a victim of Domestic Violence in her lifetime



On average 2 women a week in the UK are murdered by their current or former partner 



Among women subject since 16 to an act that met the 1994 legal definition of rape, only 43% thought of it as rape.



Where women believed they had been raped less then 40% told anyone.



Only 15 per cent of victims of serious sexual offences said that they had reported it to the police.



Where the police had been informed about domestic violence, as far as the women were aware, the police spoke to the perpetrator in 42% of cases, 21% resulted in arrest only 10% of cases went to court.

In 29% of cases the police did not even find the perpetrator to speak to.

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Pensioners are defined as individuals above State Pension Age (SPA) at the time of the interview. At the time that the data was collected the SPA for women was between 60 and 61. However, for men it was 65. Results for couples exclude partners of working age. Source: Households Below Average Income, Department for Work and Pensions, http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_278836.pdf page 23

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Our Criminal Justice System for Women - The Accused (9)



Fewer than one in five arrests recorded by the police in 2010/11 and in the preceding four years involved females

Custodial sentences for women have dramatically increased over the last decade 26% up in England and Wales and 66% in Scotland

there are about 13,500 women sent to prison in the UK each year, over half for less then 6 months, around 80% of those are for non violent crimes, Nearly 70% of women entering the prison population are put on remand of these a large proportion receive a non-custodial sentence.  

66% of women in prison have dependent children under 18. Each year it is estimated that more than 17,700 children are separated from their mother by imprisonment.

One in four women in prison were in local authority care as a child. Nearly 40% of women in prison left school before they were 16, almost one in 10 were 13 or younger.

Over half the women in prison have suffered domestic violence and one in three has experienced sexual abuse.



Ministry of Justice shows that the rate of self-harm for female prisoners is over ten times higher than that for men



One in four women in prison were in local authority care as a child. Nearly 40% of women in prison left school before they were 16, almost one in 10 were 13 or younger.



Research undertaken by the national evaluation of prison mental health in-reach services in August 2008 at a local establishment for young and adult women found that of all those screened (212), 51% (108) had severe and enduring mental illness, 47% (100) a major depressive order, 6% (12) any psychosis and 3% (6) schizophrenia

Most foreign national women in custody in England and Wales who have been trafficked into offending are not getting the help and support to which they are entitled as victims of crime, a University of Cambridge report reveals

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In 2009 one in five women in Northern Ireland were imprisoned for defaulting on fines.

The Office for National Statistics found that a significant proportion of the pay gap 36% cannot be explained by industry, occupation, education levels, full or part time work or negative effect from women taking time out from the workplace to look after the family they suggested that discrimination against women in work may still be an important factor. (7)



According to the Faucett society "The full-time gender pay gap between women and men is 14.9 per cent



The pay gap varies across sectors and regions, rising to up to 55% in the finance sector and up to 33.3% in the City of London

64% of the lowest paid workers are women, contributing not only to women's poverty but to the poverty of their children


There are almost four times as many women in part-time work as men.  Part-time workers are likely to receive lower hourly rates of pay than full-time workers.


Nine out of ten lone parents are women.  The median gross weekly pay for male single parents is £346, while for female single parents it is £194.4" (
8)



Male health professionals, which includes doctors, administrators and other senior health workers, earn £82,674 a year, double female workers doing the same full-time jobs on £44,232.

Wealth



​Out of the top 1,000 richest people in Britain only 105 were women according to the Sunday Times rich list 8th May 2011 that's 89.5% of wealth being held by men.

According to uk.finance.yahoo.com of the top 100 self made millionaires in the UK the gender split was 93% male, 4% married couples and only 3% were women.



Nine out of ten lone parents are women.  The median gross weekly pay for male single parents is £346, while for female single parents it is £194.4"​

Pensions



The State Pensions has always inherently had a gender bias towards men, because it is linked to work contributions and women have not traditionally been able to provide the years or salary input levels to achieve the state pension.  Therefore, women pensioners who have spent time in society looking after children and their elderly relatives are now living in poverty.



Less than 30% of women receive a full state pension in their own right.

Nearly a quarter of single female pensioners live in poverty, while twice as many women rely on means-tested benefits as men.


Research by Age Concern and the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equality for women, found that on average women who are part of a couple receive just 32p of pension income for every £1 their husbands get.


The groups said the pay gap which women suffered during their working lives became a vast pensions gap when they retired.



Poor single women pensioners outnumber men by 4 to 1, the main factor behind the current pension gender gap is the lower remuneration of female workers. This is due to widespread sectoral and occupational segregation lower wages and historical care giving outside of paid work.(12)

Women in religion



Most, if not all the currently established religions are patriarchal.

 

Women who are born into religious families are told that they must behave in a certain way and be subservient to men, that their place is in the home and that they should not have a voice in society, that they are inherently sinful.  Being told this from birth makes it incredibly difficult to find their voice or self worth. Women who grow up or buy into these religions, who want to be good people believe that they can not be moral and philanthropic without having to be second class citizens, with restrictions on their achievements and voices and sometimes even visibility that their religion requires of them, these religions do not apply the same restrictions on men.

Synopsis



In the west post 70's feminism has been a victim of its own success, women who tried to make a difference became stigmatised as man hating lesbians by the media (dominated by male editors), most women believed that the work had been done as government legislation was written up against inequality for women, and it was only a matter of time before we gained all the rights and privileges of equality that these laws required. 

Unfortunatly, we took our foot of the peddle and believed that equality in legislation would be the cure-all, this has only made things go underground.  Lack of transparancy in companies let them pay women less without any reprisals, it is up to the women to bring lengthy legal action if they can play detective.  We have a sticky floor with women taking 80% of the part-time lowest paid positions as well as a glass ceiling.  Society and the media still sneer at women who speak out, women are still expected to do it all, taking the lions share of child care and elderly relative care as well as juggling work.  Visual representation of women and young girls are sexualised and older women are missing from our televisions.  We continue to blame the women victims of violence, the media still calls sexual violence/rape and child sex abuse in film; "hard core porn" or "child porn", it is not porn these are criminal acts.

 

If we speak out, the reply is usually "look what you have already achieved" and then they quote a number of women in prominent roles. Yes it is true, there are more opportunities for women then ever before but that's like saying "you are more equal then you were so why should you want actual equality, you've never had it before".



Women don't hate men, we just want an equal voice, equal status and equal human rights in our country and our world.