09 MAY 2017

  • ‘Missing Eight Million’ women voters
  • Fawcett Society releases manifesto for gender equality
  • Campaign organisation urges women to mark 100 years of women’s votes, register and make their voices heard

New Fawcett Society analysis of recent polling data finds that a ‘missing eight million’ women say that they aren’t necessarily going to vote in the 2017 general election. An average of recent polling shows that 2.5% points fewer women than men say they are certain to vote. When applied to 2015 turnout levels this could see 8 million women not exercising their rights, half a million more than the 7.5 million men who are not certain they’ll vote.

With the deadline for voter registration only two weeks away on the 22nd May, Fawcett also find that there is a gender gap in registration, with 2.5% points fewer women than men saying that they are currently on the register to vote in June.

The new analysis comes as Fawcett releases its Women’s Manifesto, calling on all political parties to pledge to advance gender equality and women’s rights. The Manifesto contains calls-to-action on five key areas of concern including closing the gender pay gap, an issue that Fawcett has long campaigned for.

Fawcett Chief Executive Sam Smethers said:

“Almost 100 years on from the first women getting the right to vote, we still see what is likely to be a significant gap in turnout by gender. We are calling on all women to make sure they register to vote before the deadline.”

“With the overall gender pay gap still at 18%, violence against women and girls still rife in our society, and Brexit posing a risk to hard-fought protections, it is as important as ever that women have a say. We urge women across the country to take these demands to their candidates.”

Fawcett analysis also shows that, across different polls, women have different priorities to men in the general election. Women consistently view the NHS as a more prominent issue, with 63% in an average of polls saying it is key compared with 50% of men. Men are slightly more concerned with Brexit, with 50% rating it as an important issue versus 45% for women.

Responding to these different priorities, the charity’s manifesto calls for measures to get more women into power, including for at least 45% of parties’ parliamentary candidates to be women. Other key recommendations include:

  • Women to be represented at every level and stage of Brexit negotiations.
  • An increase in the national living wage to bring it up to the level of the real living wage.
  • An extended, dedicated, well paid period of leave for fathers
  • A requirement for large companies who have to report their gender pay gaps to have an action plan in place, and penalties for those who do not comply.
  • A long-term, national, and sustainable funding strategy for specialist women-only services including domestic violence refuges, in order to meet our Istanbul Convention obligations.
  • A National Care Service, giving social care parity with the NHS, and investing in social care infrastructure with a professionalised care workforce.

The Manifesto also addresses equal representation; defending women’s rights post-Brexit; ending violence against women and girls, and ensuring women are not hardest hit by any economic downturn or spending cuts.

Download the press release here.
Read the Fawcett Women's Manifesto in full here.

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0117 369 0025 

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07876 378 733 

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