Women Are Not Equal?

Dr Carole Easton who is the CEO of the Young Women’s Trust has been included in this years honours list and here at Women UK, we felt it very apt her hopes for young people in the years to come. Her opinions are thought provoking and she asks questions about our youth and the older generations attitude to them. Women UK look at her questions…..

Some of the hopes and wishes seem obvious such as finding new jobs and opportunities for young people, but when you scratch the surface of the issue it asks some very pertinent questions. Why for example should young people vote? which is a growing problem if they and especially young women, young mothers and others feel so totally disenfranchised and ignored. Young mothers especially find it difficult to work without being penalised and we have a whole generation of young people who cannot afford a house and will never be able to and will always be worse off than their parents.

As well as job investment we need to end gender sterotyping in highly paid careers such as construction and IT so that we create role models for others to follow. At the same time we need to value careers such as care, whether for children or adults, relatives or as a job, better pay with much greater respect.

It seems that young people are often caught in the trap of minimum unliveable wages and this we are told can contribute towards a downward spiral into depression and hopelessness. At this point they may come into contact with a hugely under funded mental health scheme, especially for young women.

So it seems that we as a country have a massive resource of bright energetic young women who are looking for a chance to contribute and grow and it is up to the older generations to change attitudes and integrate greater opportunities. To find balance in the work place, to stamp out abuse prehistoric attitudes on the shop floor and high rise office.

In recent years the gender pay gap, according to the Office of National Statistics has reduced from around 17% in the late 1990’s to a little under 10% now so some progress is being made but it’s a long way to go. Perhaps just as worrying for the next generation of workers is a report that came out recently from the BBC that those born in the 21st Century will be the first generation to earn less than their parents.

If we continue to treat our young people so badly how can we expect them to feel a part of our society. In an increasingly fractured world let’s hope we can bring the genders and generations together in 2017. It’s up to us. Women UK are all for equal women’s rights, we would love your opinion.

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