The Women and Work APPG provides a forum to constructively examine and debate the role that policy makers can play to deliver gender balance within the economy.
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CROSS-PARTY GROUP OF MPs LEAD CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION TO SUPPORT WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT
The Women and Work APPG has published its annual report, Women’s Wellbeing at Work, calling on the Government to urgently take steps to support women’s employment, as part of the UK’s recovery efforts.
The Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group, co-chaired by Jess Phillips MP and Laura Farris MP and supported by a group of cross-party MPs and Peers, is recommending the creation of a taskforce on women’s employment to ensure a gendered approach to economic recovery. There have been clear ramifications on women’s employment during the pandemic, with women overrepresented in sectors which have been shut down for long periods of time, such as hospitality and retail. Women have undertaken the majority of childcare and other caring responsibilities and are more likely to be in insecure or low-paid employment, which offers them little to no protection. Additionally, women are heavily represented in the health and care workforce, who have been on the front line working tirelessly to fight the virus. Yet, Government policy to date does not reflect this gendered impact and risks leaving women, particularly those already marginalised women, behind.
The politicians are also urging Government to look beyond the economic impacts of the pandemic and consider women’s wellbeing as a whole, with a focus on prioritising mental health and wellbeing; taking urgent action to close the gender pensions gap; and extending the provision of free period products to more public places.
In addition to their report, the group has created an employer toolkit to help business in taking steps to empower women at work and recognise their responsibility in relation to employees’ wellbeing.
Laura Farris MP, Co-Chair of the Women and Work APPG said:
“We cannot ignore the impact that the pandemic has had on women’s employment. The reasons for this are multi-faceted. Sometimes sectoral – such as in hospitality, retail and beauty services which employ disproportionately more female employees; sometimes practical – women choosing to take redundancy to meet the demands of homeschooling, sometimes economic – where insecure low paid jobs employing women have been dispensed with. The Government has said that the road to recovery will have women’s employment at its heart. Establishing a taskforce would be the first step to ensuring that there is a conscious effort to support women, who have borne the brunt of the economic impacts. Without this, we cannot build back better”.
Jess Phillips MP, Co-Chair of the Women and Work APPG said:
“What’s become clear is that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and that women, particularly marginalised women, have suffered the most. The Government cannot risk going backwards on women’s equality and must now look urgently at this issue. If these recommendations are ignored, we risk a more unequal society and damage that will take decades to reverse”.
Jess Phillips has been the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley since 2015. She has committed her life to improving the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable, and spent five years working for Women’s Aid supporting and defending women. Jess became a councillor in 2012 through the Labour Future Candidates Programme. In this role she worked tirelessly to support residents, with her work being recognised when she became Birmingham’s first ever Victims Champion.
Laura Farris MP Conservative, Newbury
Laura Farris has been the Conservative MP for Newbury since December 2019. Before her election, she worked as a barrister, specialising in employment, commercial and public law. In 2019 she was appointed Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, where she worked in particular on the issue of disability in the workplace and in education. Throughout her legal and political career, Laura has been an advocate for fairer employment practices for all. She is a former political journalist who has worked in Washington, New York and London.
Information on all the group’s officers can be found here.
The Women and Work APPG is proud to announce that in 2020 our theme will be women’s wellbeing in the workplace. Traditionally, wellbeing in the workplace has been concerned with the physical and psychological health of employees.
The Women and Work APPG is delighted to announce its 2019 theme Inclusivity and Intersectionality. Throughout our work over the past three years the we have sought to recognise and highlight the fact that women are not a homogenous group, and that a focus on gender alone can sometimes be misleading.
Securing the Future of Women’s Work – April 2021
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