Austerity threatens to reverse the progress made towards gender equality for women

10 September 2012

With unemployment amongst women in Dundee now having reached its highest level since the mid 1990s, Councillor Lesley Brennan said today , “Economic indicators such as this show how these austere times threaten to reverse the progress made towards gender equality for women. " 

The female unemployment rate (as measured by those in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance) in Dundee in July was 3.6 per cent. – the seventh highest in Scotland’s 32 local council areas. 

Lesley Brennan said,

“The cuts in public sector jobs have affected women disproportionately because women account for the majority of staff in sectors such as the NHS, local councils and education.  

“ In this worst recession for decades, women are finding it more difficult to find part-time work, because, unlike in previous economic downturns, they may well find themselves in competition with men for such work.

“The rate of female unemployment in Dundee is lower than the male rate, but its impact on the individual will be the same.

“Those who are bearing the brunt of the effects of being jobless are likely to be single parent households.

“ 9 out of 10 single parent families in Dundee have a woman as head of the household.

 “ Women looking for work may also face problems in finding affordable child care.

“Ensuring that mothers can have affordable childcare is an investment in the future of the family and of the city. “

She concluded,

 “Doing the right thing for the local economy is doing the right thing for women.

 “That means a policy of growth , encouraging businesses to expand, and creating much-needed new jobs to set the city in the direction of a strong economy.”


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