The Fawcett Society has commented on news that the government recognises that women feel ‘targeted’ by cuts in public spending.

Anna Bird, Acting Chief Executive, said:

“We welcome government recognition that women feel targeted by cuts in public spending. Fawcett has long warned that job losses in the public sector, drastic reductions in spending on benefits and public services and the looming care gap will leave women facing a triple jeopardy.

“It’s not that these policies aren’t a vote winner- it’s that they are devastating for the opportunities of women and their families across the UK. Sadly, it appears the government thinks the problem is one of perception – not reality.

“In response to a 23 year high in women’s unemployment – figures out today show that more than a million women are out of work – the government seems to think an exercise in spin – or at best a few cheap wins- is called for.

“What women have in common is that they typically earn less than men, are more likely to live in poverty and are underrepresented in positions of power in politics and elsewhere.

“Top of everyone’s agenda is the economy. Women want to know how the government intends to tackle rising female unemployment, the gender pay gap, the rising cost of childcare, the hole left in many women’s pockets by the wage freeze and benefit reforms.

“Of course, the fact the government needs to carry out this kind of work highlights the lack of women’s voices in political life too. If the Prime Minister and other senior politicians are serious about engaging with women, appointing more women to their top teams would be a good place to start – men outnumber women 5 to 1 in the Cabinet.”