Wales’ leading gender equality charity has warned that wide-ranging action is needed to tackle the prevalence of inequality in caring responsibilities, poverty, abuse and harassment faced by women in today’s society.
Chwarae Teg has highlighted its ongoing concerns and calls for action in its second State of the Nation report, launched in Newport.
While the research does demonstrate that there has been some positive progress, for instance, an increase in the representation of women, particularly within politics, there are dramatic inequalities in other areas and aspects of life for women.
The Gender Pay Gap has increased, women are still working for lower pay, in less secure sectors; they are under-represented in senior positions and dominate in part-time roles. There is a stark contrast in ‘caring responsibilities’ too with 28% of women stating this as the reason they are unable to work, compared to only 7.2% of men. The charity is therefore calling for more progress to reduce the burden on women, ensuring caring responsibilities are shared, and that women are able to progress in work.
The report makes clear that women’s experiences in the economy, women’s representation and the greater risk women face are all interconnected. Women’s position in the labour market leaves them at greater risk of abuse, financial hardship, poverty and social isolation. Also experiences of sexual harassment and abuse remain worryingly prevalent. This should not be a common experience for women, and more needs to be done to tackle the root causes to ensure women can live their lives free from harassment and abuse.
With this in mind, Chwarae Teg is concerned that without women’s voices in positions of power, particularly the voices of diverse women, these issues and experiences will not be highlighted and there will be no change in how decisions to tackle inequality are made.