Reflecting on International Women’s Day 2024

7 Mar 2024
International Women's Day 2024

Although we have made great strides towards gender equality in the UK, women are too often an afterthought when it comes to economic empowerment.

Time and again, the extra barriers women face in the workplace are ignored while we are left without the support we deserve.

Just look at how menopause is treated. Fawcett Society research has shown that 1 in 10 women leave a job because of symptoms of the menopause. Yet still, the Conservative Government refuses to pilot a trial on menopause leave. And they have missed an opportunity to make a splash with their Women’s Health Strategy, where their work to support women in the workplace has frustratingly gone silent.

Not to mention the extra costs women shoulder simply because of the fact we are women.

From the pink tax, to the ‘motherhood penalty’ and gender pay gap, there is a laundry list of extra economic disadvantages that women face.

Heartbreakingly, the financial barriers become worse for survivors of domestic violence, many of whom have to make the impossible choice between remaining in an unsafe home or facing destitution.

These failings hurt everyone - women, our society, and our economy. Despite this, the Chancellor didn’t mention women a single time in his Budget this week.

Women deserve an ambitious vision from political parties. I’m proud that Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to smash through these economic barriers disproportionately facing women. 

We brought forward new policies to end period poverty across the UK just this year, responding to the cost of living crisis which meant that a further 1 million women couldn’t afford the period products they need.

My colleague Munira Wilson MP, has spearheaded a revolutionary new parental leave and childcare policy -  helping more mothers return to the workplace should they want to, and fighting against the gender pay gap.

These new policies are only the beginning. As Liberal Democrats, we will keep doing everything we can to fight for gender equality. Our country cannot afford to avoid investing in women any longer. 




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