Fair-Deal-for-Women-Report-2-Safety Justice and Support and Women's Health

22nd August 2017

Fair Deal for Women Report Release
Women Speak Out on Safety, Justice, and Support, and Women’s Health

The Fair Deal for Women campaign group at the Women’s Resource Centre released a report into women’s inequality in 2016. It demonstrated the impact of successive governments’ decisions to cut public spending and showed the detrimental impact this has on the lives of women, notably BME and disabled women.

Although not a surprise to the thousands of women living at the sharp end of unfair and discriminatory policies it is nevertheless shocking that in 2016 we still have far to go in achieving justice, rights and equality. It we want an economically productive, healthy society we must see better investment in dismantling the sex hierarchy that sees women and particularly marginalized women invisible, unheard and at the bottom of the pile. We call decision makers to reverse the current gender blind policy making.” Vivienne Hayes MBE, WRC CEO

The second of three to be released, this report is a product of A Fair Deal for Women and Women Speak Out projects and focusses on Safety, Justice, and Support, and Women’s Health.

The report identifies the sheer scale and pervasiveness of violence against women and girls in the UK, and how some groups, such as disabled women, are at particular risk of violence. It highlights how Black and ethnic minority women are faced with racist misogyny, and have growing fears for their safety post EU Referendum. It also shows how sexual and domestic violence affect women’s health and explores other aspects of women’s mental health, sexual and maternal health. It looks at the particular issues faced by older women, a group often ignored by literature and research. It considers how poverty affects women’s health, and look at different women’s varying rates of access to certain healthcare services.

Report statistics reveal that the UK has the joint fifth highest rate of violence against women in the EU, with 44% of women reporting experiences of physical or sexual violence of some form since the age of 15; women living in the most deprived areas of the UK are over 50% more likely to have pregnancies end in stillbirth or neonatal death; and it is estimated that 61% of people in the UK living with dementia are women.

Real life stories from women via the Women Speak Out project explore the devastating impact of violence, poverty and racism on women’s health and how this is compounded by cuts to both statutory agencies and women’s organisations. This is reflected in the fact that 78 women and 78 children are turned away refuge on the average day and that 75% of women escaping domestic violence reported having difficulties finding a legal aid solicitor in their area.

We have these amazing women’s services in this country but due to the lack of investment, and the lack of funding, they are failing women left right and centre. The average waiting time for me when I went to the Bridge to receive counselling was 6 months, and that was the average that is common for most counselling services around this particular crime” Megan

Notes to the editor

A Fair Deal for Women is a campaign coalition of 13 leading women’s organisations led by the Women’s Resource Centre, the national umbrella body for women’s organisations in the UK. Our aim is to get the message across that women’s inequality spans across all areas of life. It’s not just focused on violence against women or the pay gap for example.

Women Speak Out project is aimed at empowering women to speak out and tell their stories of disadvantage and inequality through video. The women we film will then receive media training to gain confidence in public speaking, and also to build up their skill set in-case they ever wanted to speak to the media about their experiences. To date we have already provided many of the women with media training, which includes how to conduct interviews, how to present stories, and how to work with journalists so they will know what to expect from interviews, and have had tips on what makes a good one. The idea is that in a time when much of the media focuses on ‘benefit scroungers’ discourse, this project will give disadvantaged women control of their narrative, feel empowered, and help raise awareness of damaging government policies.

For more information about the report or to speak to one of the women featured in the report or films, please contact Deirdre McGrath at deirdre@wrc.org.uk / 02076973457