Bridging the Pay Gap and Ending Violence: The Missing Link for Women in the UK

The present article takes a detailed statistical look at the disappointing pay gap between men and women in the UK. A concise analysis of savage domestic and urban violence against British women is also given. Despite the corrective actions taken by the UK government, however, these social problems continue to persist.

Wage Gap in the EUBritain has the fifth largest wage gap between men and women among European countries; this is higher than Slovakia, Portugal and Switzerland. Estonia has the highest pay gap between men and women in Europe; despite the fact that the Baltics have been narrowing the gap ever since last year, Estonian women have been working for free since October 30 compared with what men get paid. Italy and Luxembourg have the lowest gender pay gap of 5% in all of Europe. However, taking into account the rights of men, the last two weeks of every year add up to a fortnight’s worth of unpaid work for women in these two countries.

Balance or Imbalance?

New research in the UK shows that despite the increase in the number of women on the board of directors of companies in recent years, female executives in the UK’s largest financial services companies earn on average 66% less than their male counterparts. The Global Times wrote: According to a new study published on Monday, 1 March , women board members earned an average of £7,247,100 a year in 2020, as compared to their male counterparts, who earned £22,722,300. The study was conducted by Fox & Partners law firm, which examines the pay gap in UK financial companies; the company has published its results by surveying 350 financial companies in the UK.

According to the Hampton-Alexander Review, an independent body that examines gender diversity in companies, the number of women on the boards of these 350 companies has increased by 50% in the past five years to 1,026 in 2020, but there is still a difference. Income gaps between women and men are significant.

Felicia Willow, Interim Chief Executive Officer at the Fawcett Society in the UK, said, “These shocking figures show that the gender pay gap is widening in the UK; women are not in the lead, and those who have performed the role are often paid less than men”.
A year ago, Britain stopped the requirement for companies to report gender pay gaps for their employees due to the Covid pandemic. The move, the government said, does not undermine efforts to pay men and women fairly.

Ceilings or Floors? In 2020, men earned an average of 15.5% more than women in the UK, up from 17.4% in 2019 according to official figures. Women working in the UK earn 8.9% less than their male counterparts, up from 8.6% in 2018! The overall pay gap between men and women, which includes part-time

The Office of National Statistics announced that the pay gap between working men and women has widened in the UK. Women working full-time earn 8.9% less than men, up from 8.6% in 2018; this difference is greater among men and women over the age of 50, where there is a considerable wage gap of 15%.

The Independent reported that, according to the Office for National Statistics, the difference in age groups was due in part to the absence of women in high-paying and possibly part-time managerial positions. The overall pay gap between men and women, which includes part-time  this is an increase from 17.3% last year to 17.8%; the Office for National Statistics emphasises that the data compares the average income of male and female employees in all occupations and does not show the difference in wages between men and women in the same occupations.

“It will take decades to fill the gender gap at current rates,” Frances O’Grady, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress, told the media. “The government needs to do more”, O’Grady said. “It is clear that narrowing the pay gap alone is not enough. Companies must also be legally required to explain how to reduce this gap.”

“Progress to close the gender gap is very slow and it will take 60 years to eradicate; many women are stuck in part-time, low-wage work”, said Sam Smethers, the Fawcett Society’s chief executive.

Covid Souvenir For Women The Guardian writes about the impact of the Covid pandemic on gender inequality: After a year that has seen women more likely to be furloughed, lose their jobs, carry the burden of home schooling and domestic drudgery, women are increasingly fearful about their future, with almost half of those surveyed in a Mumsnet poll for International Women’s Day expecting gender equality to go into reverse over the next few years. With the reopening of schools in the UK, the survey showed that 70% of women have borne the brunt of holiday breaks by studying at home . Three-quarters of women said that, during the quarantine, their husbands were able to get a job without any problems; one in five British mothers said they had to reduce their working hours to take care of the growing needs of their children, and More than a third said they were professionally injured, while their spouses were not.  Justine Roberts, founder of the Mumsent Institute, said the poll showed a worrying picture of gender inequality during the pandemic. She stressed the need to adopt an appropriate strategy to address the inequality caused by Covid-19 and said that we face a real danger of returning to the 1970s in terms of women’s economic power.  The survey also had promising results, with 63% of respondents saying the pandemic had brought their families closer together, 69% saying parents had spent more time with their children, and 43% of male respondents saying they have gained a greater understanding of childcare. Gender inequality against women is not a new issue in Britain. Women in the country have previously protested against gender discrimination and inequality. Inequality in the workplace is one of the problems for women, according to which women are paid less than men for equal jobs.

A shocking report in the UK states that 139 women were killed by men of acquaintance in 2017, two-fifths of whom died as a result of severe and excessive violence. The latest statistics on gender killings in Britain show that “excessive violence” was used in 58% of these killings. Excessive violence refers to violence that is more severe than it takes to kill a person. Among those killed in 2017, 64 women, equivalent to 46% of the victims, were killed by their current or former partners. If  the number of victims of terrorist attacks is not taken into account, this figure increases to 54.2%.

Moreover, 30 women, equivalent to 21.6% of the victims, including victims of terrorist attacks, were killed by a stranger, 24 women were killed by a man outside the family, by acquaintances such as a friends, colleagues or neighbors, 10 women, equivalent to 7.2% of the victims were killed by their sons, and seven women, or 4.9% of the victims, were killed by another man in the family. Most of the victims, 82 women (55% of the victims), were between the ages of 26 and 55, and most were killed in their own homes or in the homes of the perpetrators. Twelve women, (55% of the victims) killed by their ex-husbands were killed within a month of separation, and 19 women (87%) were killed within a year of separation.

Nearly three-quarters of the 126 killers, 90 men, were between the ages of 26 and 55, and most of those murders, 66, were carried out with a sharp tool. The authors of this report examined the deaths of 139 women and girls over the age of 14 at the hands of men in 2017. The authors claim that in British society, violence against women by men has become not only commonplace but also tolerated, and have called for government investment to stop the closure of specialised support services for women. In 2016, there were 113 such homicides, in 2015 there were 119 homicides and in 2014 there were 139 such homicides.

Statistics show that 207 women were killed in Britain in 2020. This means that one in five murder victims was a woman. The murder of seven women in Britain has been reported since Sarah disappeared last week. Undoubtedly, this statistic is shocking, but what is happening in secret is much more shocking. The British government is expected to release its “Domestic Abuse Bill“, and the domestic violence charity that produced the report has called for government funding to stop shutting down specialised women’s advocacy services. The charity’s executive director said the services it provides to women are not just for women to escape violence, but also to give them enough confidence to report the violence to the police. This is why the British government’s “Domestic Abuse Bill” should support these services so that these women can easily get rid of violence and rebuild their lives away from fear and abuse.”Domestic violence is a devastating crime that destroys the lives of its victims”, said a British government spokesman. “We are determined to change the way we respond to violence”. Therefore, we will publish the “Domestic Abuse Bill” of the British government, which includes a new and legal definition of domestic violence, the introduction of new guidelines for protection against domestic violence and the establishment of a commissioner position for domestic violence. The government also allocated £100 million to violence against women and girls from 2016 to 2020.

She Was Just Walking HomeThe murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was abducted and murdered on the streets of South London last week, shocked the British community. Her body was found a few days ago in a forest near Ashford. British police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been charged with involvement in the crime. The women are angry not only at Sarah Everard’s death, but also at what they see as a “misogynistic” reaction by police and lawmakers. They are angry about the “Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill”. This situation may seem contradictory to some as the police are often seen as protectors of public safety. When the international “Black Lives Matter” movement led to protests over the excessive power and immunity of the police, opponents quickly cited women’s safety from rape and assault as the main reason for maintaining police power. But Sarah’s murder convinced many women in Britain that the police has failed to protect them, and the violent police action a few days later at her memorial service in London, along with the arrest of a police officer for killing her, led many to conclude that the police are an active threat to them, not a shield. They believe that women’s security and freedom can only be the result of much deeper social change – and that any policy change in response to Everard’s death should be on these issues.

Qualified or Disqualified Immunity?

Margaret Atwood, a well-known Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, political activist and feminist, said her novel The Handmaid’s Tale is a narration of what happened to women at a time in history. Any support that women think is provided in terms of democracy, education, wealth, or race, may disappear easily and immediately in a country.

For many women in Britain, Everard’s murder and the violent response of the police have created a similar panic about how they are not really protected. There will also come a time when the suffering of women of colour and other groups that have been sexually abused and long ignored is well reflected. Raven Bowen, a human rights activist, said she believed that when police raided Sarah’s memorial, women were reminded of the bitter taste of trauma they have experienced for years in response to  police actions. She believes that such experiences have a cumulative effect: “What do they get when they ask for protection?” “This is a learned experience”. “That’s why Everard’s death caused such shockwaves”, said Lydia Caradona, a writer. She added that  “Sarah was a good woman, she did what she was supposed to do, she dressed as she should have – but none of that was enough to make her safe”. Nicole Westmarland, a researcher at Durham University who studies violence against women, said, “It can completely upset you”.  When you realise that you did the right thing and are still being attacked. ’Rape’ decriminalised”. Women Are Not Objects Sarah Everard’s death was a tragedy, but statistics show broader failures. A 2019 report by The Independent found that 568 London police officers had been charged with sexual offenses between 2012 and 2018, but only 43 had been prosecuted. From April 2015 to April 2018, at least 700 reports of domestic violence by police officers were reported, according to documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Opponents of the recent bill, which gives police broad powers, argue that the move would increase scenes such as the abduction and murder of Sarah and would not stop the most common forms of violence against women. “Violence against women is usually due to an imbalance of power,” Gary  said. One of the reasons for the attack on the police bill, he said, was that “nothing is being done about it.”

Shocking Research Results The Guardian reports that the shocking results of an investigation in the UK show that almost all young women in the country have been sexually harassed and, worse, have lost confidence in the authorities’ decision to resolve the issue. Studies by the UN Women UK show that 97% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been sexually abused, and even worse, 80% of women of all ages say they have experienced the problem in public. ‌Experts say the murder of Sarah Everard is only the tip of the iceberg, showing that the claim of social liberalism, equality between men and women and the freedom of women in British society is a “mirage”. Final WordViolence against women and girls is not inevitable. Urgent action is required to prevent abuse and provide support for women and girls who have experienced violence and harassment. All these forms of abuse are committed disproportionately against women and girls, and the perpetrators are usually men. Violence against women and girls occurs in every society around the world. Women’s further inequality as a result of wealth and social class, pay gap,  sexuality or gender identity, ethnicity, disability, mental health and age, makes them more likely to experience violence and less likely to access justice and support.

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