Fiscal Policy

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 12th February 2009.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons) 10:30 am, 12th February 2009

Like many seaside resorts, my constituency has an above-average number of women in employment. Sadly, a high proportion of them are the main breadwinner. That is why this is an important issue for my constituency. The TUC has said that "creative means" will be required to protect women's jobs and to increase the opportunities for new vacancies. What creative means does the Minister have planned to ensure that jobs for women are protected or created?

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Karen Jemmett
Posted on 14 Feb 2009 4:26 pm (Report this annotation)

There is already ample evidence in your local constituency of Torbay that women are experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Indeed, much of this discrimination emanates and is actively encouraged by Job Centre staff themselves, who have a network of employer partnerships in the town. The number of older women in their forties and fifties, for instance, many of whom have spent over 20 years in full-time work, are now being pressured by bureaucrats into taking up low paid care work or other occupations where their rights and chances of promotion are severely curtailed. This is also having a knock-on effect on their housing tenure and long-term security, as well as the inherent risks associated with inequalities in health care simply because they're financially disadvantaged.

Although many of these problems are also encountered by men in equal measure, the enduring patriarchal subjugation many poorer women experience in their local communities places them at a particular disadvantage during times of recession.