UN calls on UK to tackle sexism
Jess McCabe // 2 September 2008
The UN has called for the government to do more to tackle sexism, in a damning report on sex discrimination in the UK, reports The Independent.
Unfortunately I can’t find the report. However, as the Independent tells it, the report calls attention to violence against women, women’s lack of political representation, segregation of women and men in the workplace, pay inequality and the high number of women in prison on minor offences:
The report also highlights the treatment of women in prison. The authors say too many women are being sent to jail for failing to pay their TV licences or committing other minor offences.
The committee urges the Government to “intensify its efforts to reduce the number of women in conflict with the law, including through targeted prevention programmes aimed at addressing the causes of women’s criminality.”
And more generally:
British women are under-represented in Parliament, paid less than men at work and increasingly being sent to prison for committing minor offences, a report on sex discrimination has found. The report, which was published by an influential committee of the United Nations, paints a damning picture of daily life for women living in the UK who continue to fight for a fairer deal in society.
Calling on Britain to do more to improve the standing of women, the committee argues for “benchmarks and concrete timetables” to increase the number of women in political and public life and to use “special measures” to promote women to positions of leadership. Only one in five members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords is a woman.
The UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is also critical of what it describes as “gender segregation” in the workplace. In its report it says that its members are concerned about the “persistence of occupational segregation between women and men in the labour market and the continuing pay gap, one of the highest in Europe”.
The average hourly earnings of full-time female employees amount to approximately 83 per cent of men’s earnings, according to the findings. In its report, the UN also highlights the need for greater measures to tackle violence against women and the practice of forced marriages.