Women are being subjected to a disproportionate amount of economic, social and personal hardship as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. That’s not tub thumping, coat trailing or left wing rhetoric. That’s what research report after research report is spelling out very clearly and very painfully.
Why is that? Well, it’s because women earn less than men on average, because they are more likely to have jobs that pay less than the living wage, because women are also more likely to bear responsibility for managing daily household costs, such as groceries and children’s items and because the majority of unpaid carers are women.
On top of all that, the problems for women in abusive relationships can be further compounded by the cost-of-living crisis and financial dependency on their abuser.
Lower pay, part time work and caring
Women in Northern Ireland earn 5.7% less than men
One fifth of women in work are paid below the real Living Wage,
Only 60% of employed women with dependent children work full time, compared to 94% of employed men with dependent children.
64% of full-time carers in Northern Ireland are women
Women face obstacles in returning to, and staying in work, after maternity leave
The cumulative effect of inflation, pay gaps, gendered roles and workplace barriers means that women are additionally disadvantaged on a number of levels.
The collective problems can only be addressed through structural change and ultimately by the creation of a socialist economy. One-off initiatives and gesture politics are not enough.
- Childcare remains a major obstacle for women returning to, and remaining in, work. For many parents it remains unavailable, or inflexible and unaffordable.
- Part time employment and zero hours contracts compound the problems faced by women in the workforce. They do not resolve them.
- The gender pay gap persists and leaves women at a further disadvantage.
- The lack of a real living wage continues to impact disproportionately on women and young girls.