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A “roadmap” aimed at helping women financially empower themselves has been published by the UK government.

The ‘Gender equality at every stage: a roadmap for change’, sets out the vision and actions to tackle the persistent gendered inequalities women and men face across their lives, supporting them to contribute to the country’s economy and balance caring responsibilities with a rewarding career.

According to Penny Mordaunt, women and equalities minister, women in the UK are more likely to achieve higher qualifications than men but earn less per hour. They are more likely to take on unpaid work, three times as likely to be working part-time and likely to save less into their private pensions.

The report sets out the government’s plan to act on eight key issues to tackle to improve gender balance across higher and lower-paid industries and occupations.

These issues are:

1. Limiting attitudes to gender

2. Women tend to work in lower-paid sectors and occupations and are less likely to progress

3. The working-age benefits system hasn’t always tackled the disadvantages that women and those with caring

               responsibilities face

4. Women take more time out of the labour market to care for children

5. Women are providing more informal care and unpaid work for others

6. Helping people to return to work after taking time out for caring

7. Women are more likely to face financial instability later in life

8. We need to ensure we have the right foundations for the future

Of the plan, Mordaunt said:

“Business as usual isn’t going to cut it. I want everyone in our country to be able to thrive in life. That means being able to be in control of the choices you make and have the opportunities you have to seize.

“We must be honest that many women do not have those choices or opportunities, and as a consequence are not able to be as financially resilient or independent. This inequality is faced at every stage of a woman’s life, from how she is treated in the classroom, to the caring roles she often takes on, and the lack of savings or pension she accumulates.

“This road map is intended to define and guide how we tackle the barriers women face as they journey through life.”

The full report is available on the gov.uk website.

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This post was written by Karen Parker