‘Poverty buffers’: Women’s lives cut short by their unequal position in society | Inequality

Women who speak out against gender inequality are often dismissed, especially in England. After all, women here are lucky: we are much better off than in other countries. It is not like this?

The short answer is, only some of us. A devastating new analysis of data from the Health Foundation has revealed, to the starkest extent, that for many women in England, that is far from the case.

The life expectancy of women in the poorest parts of England is less than the general life expectancy of women in each OECD country in the world besides Mexico. Let that sink in for a second. Lower than any other country in that club, except one.

In 2017-19, female life expectancy in the most deprived local areas of England was 78.7 years. In the richest areas, it was 86.4 years. What does that say about the situation of the poorest women in England in 2022?

It tells us that women are the “poverty buffers,” according to the Women’s Budget Group. Women they are more likely to be poor and have more debt than men.

Due to unpaid caregiving responsibilities, they are often able to work fewer hours and, as a result, have fewer savings and smaller pensions. For minority and disabled women, the picture is even bleaker. When the social safety net is cut, as it has been repeatedly for more than a decade, it is women who fall first.

“There is very clear evidence that poverty is related to lower life expectancy,” says Jemima Olchawski, executive director of the Fawcett Society.

“More than a decade of austerity and rising poverty levels have hit women hardest. They are more likely to work with the lowest income, be single parents or retire with a lower pension.”

It is not poverty alone that has an impact on life expectancy: inequality itself is bad for people, he adds. “High levels of inequality will contribute to these women having shorter lives; that’s a really important part of this picture.”

Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, agrees. “Women are paying a high price for a male-only approach to planning the economy,” she said. Reid, a woman not easily taken aback by dismal gender inequality statistics, admits to being genuinely shocked by the new analysis.

“Political decisions are being made that benefit those who have always benefited,” she says. “This data tells us very clearly that we are not using our abundant wealth to address inequality. There is no way we should be in that position. No way.”

The data snapshot was taken before the pandemic. A pandemic that resulted in twice as many (43%) young women from low-income households saying that his financial situation had deterioratedcompared to 21% of higher-income young women and just 16% of higher-income men.

In his report on the unequal gender economic impacts of the pandemicThe Commons’ women and equalities committee concluded that “existing gender inequalities in the economy have been ignored and sometimes exacerbated by the political response to the pandemic”.

In December, the government committed to “reset the dial” on women’s health in England, with its Vision for Women’s Health strategy, after 100,000 women came forward to share their health concerns. by murmuring that It’s About Time Rampant Sexism in Health Care Was Acknowledgedthat was welcome.

But even the most dazzling of healthcare visions can’t accomplish anything without resources and a long-term commitment. And even then, it will have little impact on this starker bottom line if the long-standing and persistently unequal position of women in society is not addressed.

with the government refusing to conduct a child care cost review that keeps so many women out of work, no commitment to restore the £20 universal credit increase and the cost of living crisis bites hard there seems to be little sign of that.

“We are entering a cost-of-living crisis that will once again hit women the hardest,” says Olchawski. “The potential impact of that is terrifying.”

Previous post Top analysts say buy stocks like McDonald’s and Tesla
Next post New book highlights Oxford’s historic houses
%d bloggers like this: