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It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World - So Get Up And Change It On 21 January

13/01/2017 17:09
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Why is The Equality Trust supporting the Women's March on London? Well that's a no-brainer if you know your economics. Women are being hit by inequality on all levels, from a mere six female CEOs in the FTSE 100 to our dominance among low paid, part-time workers and struggling single parents. We may have a female prime minister, but we still have a gender pay gap. Many women's refuges are being lost and young women and girls are suffering sexism in school corridors. None of this is conducive to equality or being economically brutal, female productivity.

A report from the Women's Budget Group found that: "By 2020, Black women in the poorest third of households stand to lose £1,926 a year as a result of tax and benefit changes since 2010. Asian women will lose £2,057 a year. In contrast white men in the richest third of the population will gain £79 a year. Lone mothers are set to lose £3,860 in net income and £4,860 in the value of services they receive, a loss of 18% of their living standards per annum by 2020." The Equality and Human Rights Commission tells us that 54,000 women each year experience pregnancy discrimination.

As if that weren't enough, the IMF has shown that gender inequality and income inequality are strongly interlinked, even after controlling for other drivers of income inequality. Specifically, larger gaps between men and women see higher income shares going to the already-rich top 10%, and lower income shares going to the poorest 20%. While, the World Economic Forum identifies our gender pay gap and relatively poor rates of female participation in the labour market as major barriers to inclusive growth.

And this is a matter of life and death. Women in the richest areas of the UK enjoy two decades more of healthy life than their poorer sisters according to Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson.

Research shows that in more unequal countries, we have more violence and less trust, higher rates of mental ill health and lower educational achievement. A huge inequality gap harms us all, whether we are billionaires living in behind the gates gated community billionaires to we are living on the streets. Despite a small decrease in inequality, the UK is still the sixth most unequal country in the OECD, and it's no coincidence that the US is also top of the hit parade for inequality. In short, when we fight against inequality, we fight for a fairer, more equal society, we fight for the good of everyone. So ask not why we march, but rather ask why haven't we marched before?

Dr Wanda Wyporska is Executive Director of The Equality Trust, a charity that campaigns to reduce inequality and make society fairer

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