Press Release: Feminist Scorecard 2020: gender equality could be set back by Covid-19
Women’s equality charity WEN Wales has published its second feminist scorecard with Oxfam Cymru as both charities warn the coronavirus outbreak could stall progress on making Wales fairer for women.
The Feminist Scorecard 2020 covers six key policy areas and charts Welsh Government’s progress since 2019 towards achieving equality for women and girls. Over the past 12 months, advances have been made, for example in ending violence against women and in moving forward the fair finance area, which have therefore moved from red to amber. However we are deeply worried about the Covid-19 threat which arose following the completion of the research on this report.
The pandemic threatens women’s equality – 80% of people employed in human health and social work activities in Wales are women. It is women who are at the forefront of responding to the virus as health workers, teachers and carers in the home. It is women who are at risk of being trapped at home with abusive partners. It will be women, particularly those who are disabled, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or on low incomes who are likely to be hardest hit by the pandemic.
Catherine Fookes, Director of WEN Wales said:
‘’Our 2020 scorecard shows that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, women already faced serious inequality in Wales in terms of rights, pay, jobs, representation and leadership and health. The crisis threatens to erode the progress made in the past year as women are at the forefront of responding to the crisis. We’d therefore urge Welsh Government to take forward our practical recommendations in the scorecard as a matter of urgency, especially those that will relieve immediate financial hardship caused by the crisis.’
Rachel Cable, Head of Oxfam Cymru commented:
‘Today in Wales 23% of people are living in poverty, and in Wales and around the world it is women who are disproportionately affected by poverty. The Coronavirus will exacerbate this. We need urgent action from Welsh Government, businesses, and civic society to ensure that gender inequality is at the heart of our immediate response. Whilst our attention today is rightly on the crisis in front of us, we must also take this opportunity to consider how we build-back better. We all want some ‘normality’ back, but this is our opportunity to decide which bits of ‘normal’ we want to rush to return to. We stand ready to work with Welsh Government to advance women’s rights in Wales and across the globe.’
The Scorecard analyses six key areas and suggests a suite of recommendations in each policy area which would result in a Wales free from gender discrimination. Examples of the key recommendations are listed below and in full in the report.
- Caring Responsibilities: Offer affordable and accessible childcare for all from six months, including to non-working parents;
- Ending Violence Against Women & Girls: secure long term sustainable funding;
- Equal Representation & Leadership: put in place legally binding gender and diversity quotas;
- Global Women’s Rights: Introduce a monitoring and evaluation framework that includes clear gender focused performance indicators, success measures, and a review structure;
- Fair Finance: Set a target to reduce the Gender Pay Gap by half – to 7% – by 2028;
- Tackling Gender Health Inequalities: Make ‘Menstrual Well-being Throughout the Life Course’ a mandatory element in the new school curriculum;
Please join us for an online launch Tuesday April 21st, 1230 – 1330 and discussion of this important new report, written in partnership between Oxfam Cymru and WEN Wales with Sian Gwenllian AM and Suzy Davies AM , Chairs of the Cross Party Group on Women.
Tickets for the on-line launch can be accessed on Eventbrite, and joining instructions will be emailed following registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/102245517094