Women and The Economy

Women and The Economy

What Needs To Change?

Women play a vital role in our economy as both workers and consumers. Decisions on the economy, in particular on tax and public spending, have a major impact on women’s incomes and wider lives. This is especially true when it comes to benefits – these tend to make up around a 1/5th of the average women’s incomes as opposed to 1/10th f men’s, and jobs – almost 2/3rds of the public sector workforce is female.

Both overall economic inequality and women’s economic inequality are high in the UK. Women are more likely to be employed in low paid, part-time work, more likely to head a single parent household, likely to have less financial assets and more likely to live in poverty, especially in older age.

Source: Fawcett Society

For more stats and graphics, see our reports, The Changing Labour Market 2: Women, low pay and gender equality in the emerging recovery (2014) and The Changing Labour Market: Delivering for women, delivering for growth (2013). 

At the same time, women’s unpaid labour is worth tens of billions of pounds to the economy every year – unpaid carers (the majority of whom are women) contribute billions every year. Women in work and business also contribute billions to our economy and its growth, and are critical to its success.

The recession has made life more difficult for all of us, but a growing body of evidence shows that it has had a disproportionate impact on women.  You can find out more about the impact of austerity on women in our Cutting Women Out campaign.

At the same time, many of the proposed changes to workplace legislation – often called  ‘red tape’ – will impact on women in particular and distinct ways.

Find out more about Fawcett’s Women and Work campaign.