Spending cuts by the coalition government are said to be setting back equality gains made by women in the last five years, according to a report from the CEDAW Working Group, a coalition of 42 women’s and human rights organisations from across the UK.
CEDAW is the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Compiled by the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), the report, called ‘Women’s Equality in the UK – A health check’, claimed that women who are disabled, single parents or from ethnic minority groups are being hit the most by the budget cutbacks. Indeed, only the most well-off women are not being affected.
The report said: “The government’s policies have had a negative impact on many women through the loss of jobs, income and services. Additional measures announced will intensify those losses for all but the richest women and fail to understand the immediate substantive impacts on women’s lives.”
WRC chief executive Vivienne Hayes reckoned the report raised “serious questions” about the government’s commitment to women’s equality. She added: “Austerity is not an excuse for discrimination. Our only recourse is to shame the government on an international stage.”