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Austerity cuts hurting women disproportionately


Cuts in public spending are having a disproportionate effect on women, who are increasingly being hit by the closure of children's and community centres and reductions in local services, according to a new report.

A survey of 7,500 women by Unison showed that over half believed local services had got worse over the past year.

Women complained of poor street repairs, street lights turned off or dimmed and reductions in jobseeking support.

The report, published at Unison's national conference in Brighton, said more than 70 council-funded children's centres and 40 community centres have closed every year since the coalition came to power.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "The scale of the cuts in local services is having a disproportionate impact on women's lives, making them feel unsafe, isolated from their communities and preventing them from having a social and professional life.

"Women are being hit hardest by the cuts. They are hit as workers in local government where they struggle with low pay, increasing workloads and the constant threat of redundancy, and they are hit as service users, as some mothers rely on children's centres for childcare and other public services for their families."