Labour Research April 2009

Equality news

Plan sets out what women need in man-made recession

The government should take urgent action to counter the impact of the recession on women, according to equality campaigners at the Fawcett Society in a new report.

Are women bearing the burden of the recession? shows that this is, literally, a man-made recession, and argues that there is now a new urgency to ensure good and representative governance in our financial institutions, such as banks. It documents how women have entered this recession on an unequal economic footing that makes them particularly vulnerable to the downturn.

The report sets out a five-point plan that promotes women’s rights and economic recovery. The government should:

• promote women’s rights and stamp out discrimination;

• deliver a bold package to end pay discrimination;

• promote flexible working more widely as a solution to the downturn;

• fast-track women into decision making positions; and finally

• ensure women’s skills are harnessed on the country’s road to recovery.

Dr Katherine Rake, Fawcett Society director, said: “In the US, Barack Obama signed new equal pay legislation as one of his first political acts. Voters in the UK, especially women voters, will be looking to the government for similarly bold measures.”