Socialist Worker

Tory failures worsen women’s lives

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2742

Women workers strike for equal pay in Glasgow in 2019

Women workers strike for equal pay in Glasgow in 2019 (Pic: Andrew McGowan)


The Tories are “turning the clock back” on gender equality, a report by the Women and Equalities Committee has warned

The parliamentary report published this week slams the government for “repeatedly failing to consider” inequalities faced by women during the pandemic.

The Tories and bosses putting profit before working class people's lives—and their attempts to make workers pay for the crisis—have had a huge impact on women.

It found how the Tory failures during the pandemic had made worse existing inequalities in employment. As a result, it says the government must assess the equality impact of the Job Retention Scheme and other plans for economic recovery.

The committee recommends an improvement in support, such as the £20 increase to Universal Credit as a standard allowance.

TUC union federation general secretary Frances O’ Grady said the pandemic has “set back women’s equality”. 

“Women have been put in an impossible situation during the pandemic—often expected to work and look after children at the same time,” she said. 

“Too many working mums are having to cut their hours or being forced to leave their jobs because they cannot manage. This crisis, and the government’s response to it, is deepening inequalities for women at work.”

Furloughed

O’Grady added, “Ministers must give all parents a temporary right to be furloughed now.”

The TUC is also calling for a right to flexible working and additional financial support, so childcare providers can support working parents. It also recommends an increase in sick pay and statutory right to paid leave to look after children.

Around 90 percent of Britain’s 2 million single parents are women. CEO of Gingerbread, a charity for single parents, Victoria Benson said during the pandemic they had “consistently been left behind”.

“If this continues, single parents will be shut out of the labour market," she said. "This will have a devastating impact on families and push many more into poverty. The government must not leave single parents and their children out in the cold.”

Working class women are shouldering the burden for the government’s pandemic failures.

It’s time for women to fight back against the Tories who want to increase the burden on women—with little to no support.


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