13 October 2010 #Employment
Equal Pay for women is always a topical issue but even more so at the moment with the release of the film ‘Made in Dagenham` to stir women up. The coalition government`s emergency budget just compounded matters with the Fawcett Society stating that 72% of budget cuts will be met from women`s income. Could a second wave of feminism be brewing...
Many of the budget cuts will directly affect the public sector and as four in 10 women work in public-sector occupations, they are likely to be hardest hit. This fact is particularly important in areas hit hard by private-sector unemployment such as the North East, Yorkshire and Humber and the West Midlands. In these regions male unemployment is more than 10%, and many families will now depend on a public-sector woman`s wage. Women often work in the public sector because it offers relatively secure work, flexible working patterns and a chance to build up a decent income in retirement. The public sector offers more opportunities to combine a proper career with caring responsibilities and spending cuts would inevitably threaten this - and thus set back the cause of gender equality.
In August 2010, the Fawcett Society filed papers with the High Court seeking a judicial review of the coalition government`s emergency budget, accusing the government of failing to carry out a gendered assessment of the budget. Under equality laws, The Fawcett Society believes the government should have assessed whether its budget proposals would increase or reduce inequality between women and men and despite repeated requests for information, the Treasury have not provided any evidence that any such an assessment took place.
Employmentbuddy welcomes your views on this important subject and if there anything you would like to ask the Fawcett Society, the Vibe, (a fresh internet magazine covering politics and social issues), will be interviewing the Fawcett Society‘s Policy and Campaigns Officer, Daisy Sands, on October 21, the day after the spending review, and they are inviting your questions to put to the group. A variety of questions shall be selected and submissions close October 19. If you want to lodge a question visit http://www.the-vibe.co.uk/2010/10/12/the-fawcett-society-interview-get-your-questions-asked/.