<p>Women protest for equality</p>

Women protest for equality

Six out of 10 women feel they do not have equality, Woman’s Hour survey finds

BBC poll finds 75 per cent feel unequal in their own homes

Saman Javed
Thursday 07 October 2021 10:01
Leer en Español

More than two-thirds of women (68 per cent) feel they do not have equality due to experiences of sexual abuse and exploitation, a new poll has found.

Additionally, 75 per cent feel most unequal in their own homes due to the unfair division of housework.

Two in five women reported having arguments with a partner when seeking equality in the home, while seven in ten women still feel unequal to men in the workplace and believe there is an imbalance in pay and benefits.

The survey of 2,151 adult women in the UK was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to mark the 75th anniversary of Women’s Hour.

It aimed to assess how much progress has been made towards equality for women since it first aired in 1946.

A third of participants said the most important area for progress to be made in order to achieve equality should be pay and benefits in the workplace.

This was followed by ending the sexual exploitation and abuse of women (18 per cent) and creating equal employment opportunities (17 per cent).

There were some discrepancies between age groups, with 39 per cent of elder women seeing workplace equality as the most important issue, compared with 23 per cent of young women.

A quarter of those aged between 18 and 34 saw sexual abuse against women as the most pressing issue, compared with 15 per cent of women over the age of 55.

Karen Dalziel, the editor of Woman’s Hour, said the poll’s findings suggest there is “still work to be done” to achieve equality between men and women.

“The purpose of this poll was to find out where women feel they have achieved equality and to ask: what’s next?” she said.

“Woman’s Hour has always been a programme that brings attention to the issues that matter most to women, and over the coming weeks we will discuss the issues raised in the poll.

“This poll suggests that while progress has undoubtedly been made, there is still work to be done.”

Positively, 50 per cent of women said equality between men and women is better now than it was ten years ago.

But 39 per cent said they have experienced sexism at work, and 48 per cent said they are expected to perform certain roles, such as remembering birthdays and organising social events.

In its latest Gender Equality Monitor report (GEM), the government states that violence against women and girls “is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality”.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics estimated that for the year ending March 2020, 773,000 people aged between 16 and 74 were victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

There were almost four times as many female victims (618,000) as male victims (155,000).

The GEM report also found that the gap between average earnings of men and women is the lowest level since records began, but still sits at 17.9 per cent. This means that for every £1 the average man earns, a woman earns 82p.

When asked by the BBC’s survey about how a more equal future could be achieved, half of the respondents said they want exactly the same treatment as men, while 36 per cent said the path to equality lines in the differences between men and women being embraced.

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