International Women’s Day is when we celebrate women’s achievements, acknowledge the struggles that women continue to face and recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight for equality.
In many ways the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women. More women have been furloughed than men meaning they have suffered pay cuts and are more vulnerable to redundancy. 70,000 pregnant women and new mothers have been discriminated against in self-employment schemes while many were wrongly placed on sick pay due to unclear guidance about furlough. We also know that sadly stay at home orders have resulted in a significant increase in domestic violence against women.
Labour is calling on the Government to reinstate gender pay gap reporting immediately, bring forward ethnicity pay gap reporting and modernise equal pay legislation so that women have the right to know what male colleagues doing the same work earn. Given the shocking fact that black women are four times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth, we would also like to see an urgent inquiry into Black Maternal Health.