‘Sexist’ government cuts ignore equality laws, says women’s group

Gendered lens’ should be applied to tax and benefit changes to stop women from losing out, argues report

The leader of a coalition of women’s groups has accused the government of making sexist policies by failing to take into account the impact that budget cuts will have on equality.

On the eve of a new report detailing the impact of austerity on women, Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Centre, said the government was not implementing its own equality laws and called for spending decisions to be assessed through a “gendered lens”.

It comes after new research claimed women will have shouldered 85% of the burden of changes to the tax and benefits system by 2020, with the poorest women the worst affected. “We could say that the government is behaving in a sexist way,” Hayes said. “It’s not just a little bit more, it’s a considerable amount more than what men are paying.”

A new report published under the auspices of A Fair Deal For Women – an umbrella group that includes Rape Crisis, Women’s Aid, the Fawcett Society, UK Feminista and Rights of Women, among others – details the impact of austerity policies on women’s economic, working and family lives.

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