Women workers are bearing the brunt of the recession. Twice as many women as men are losing their jobs in the current economic downturn.
The Office for National Statistics said 32,000 women became unemployed between October and December, compared with only 16,000 men.
During that period, the number of unemployed women also hit its highest level since 1987. In addition women are also being hit by the current UK government decision to raise the retirement age, so they must continue working in jobs which don’t exist…
And it will get worse as public sector cuts begin to hit home and redundancies occur. Most public sector workers are women…
Anna Bird, Acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said:
“More than 40 years after the Dagenham machinists went on strike, in a move that triggered the Equal Pay Act, women can still expect to earn less than their male counterparts.
“We have become used to slow, steady progress towards gender equality but today’s figures are more evidence that progress is stalling. The average gap in pay is virtually unchanging, with the mean earnings gap stuck at 15 per cent. For every hundred pounds men take home, women on average take home around £85.
“The gender pay gap in the private sector is still significantly greater than in the public sector. With the government focus now on boosting enterprise and private sector growth, there is a real risk that the pay gap will widen in the years ahead unless there is concerted action to tackle pay inequality.
“With a record number of women out of work – 1.09 million women are unemployed – and a persistent, stagnant gap in pay between women and men, the government needs to take action. The Fawcett Society calls on government to publish a strategy for women’s employment, that seeks to protect women’s access to work and deliver equal pay and fair working terms and conditions. The government must also make headway with plans to broaden flexible working rights to all employees and reform parental leave as set out in the Modern Workplaces consultation, which will contribute to a more equal society.”
Will the government listen? Nothing they have done so far suggests that they will. And by the way, whatever happened to that special women’s advisor idea of Cameron’s? (See “Why David Cameron Just Doesn’t Get It” )
All those retro signs, packaging and make up boxes in the shops now may just be heralding a return to the dark ages for women…
Posted on February 16th, 2012 by Jane