Fawcett research looks at how benefit changes are hitting women hard

By staff writers
February 5, 2015

The Fawcett Society, the campaigning women's organisation, will today (5 February 2015) launch a new research report entitled 'Where's the Benefit?'

This has been part of Fawcett’s on-going programme of work examining and addressing the impacts of the government’s austerity agenda on women.

The work and submissions behind the report, which included a 'call to evidence' last year, have been coordinated in conjunction with Oxfam and the Women’s Budget Group.

The Fawcett inquiry, originally Who Benefits?, has been investigating "how changes to conditionality for Jobseeker’s Allowance (ie, the conditions that must be met to qualify for the benefit), and the use and application of the sanctions that are applied when these conditions are not met are impacting on women."

At the launch in parliament, a panel of respected public figures will unveil evidence from a wide range of independent sources.

Where's the Benefit? is also likely to make recommendations to address how the disproportionate impact of austerity on women could be changed or ameliorated.

The Fawcett Society has been working on these issues for some time. Two years ago, it talked of 'triple jeopardy' in relation to women and cuts, declaring: "Women rely more on benefits and tax credits than men, in particular due to their caring responsibilities and their relative economic inequality and poverty.

"In fact, on average, one-fifth of women’s income is made up of welfare payments and tax credits compared to one-tenth for men. Put another way, benefits make up twice as much of women’s income than men’s."

Annual cuts have been made to benefits, tax credits, pay and pensions has seen almost three-quarters of the money involved taken from women’s incomes.

Fawcett describes itself as "the UK’s leading charity campaigning for women’s rights and gender equality."

It is the UK’s largest independent membership organisation with a dedicated focus on advancing women’s equality and rights.

* Fawcett terms of inquiry: http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/independent-inquiry-...

The Fawcett Society http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/

[Ekk/3]

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