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Wednesday 8th
posted by in Features

For women trapped on low incomes, life isn’t getting any easier, writes CHARLOTTE HUGHES

B EING a woman still isn’t easy. Although the media and others say that women have equality and have never had it better, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Women still do not receive equal pay with men. This is a battle that continues in many professions. Nor do women feel that their work is valued equally — both by employers and colleagues.

For example, in April 2016 men working full time earned more than women on average — £578 per week compared with £480.

The gap between men’s and women’s gross weekly earnings has remained relatively consistent from 1997 to 2016.

In the past, going to work used to be seen as a chance of bettering your position in the world and that of your family. Now it is seen as a means to an end, grabbing any chance of employment even if the wages are low in the vain hope of keeping our heads above water.

Many women also have children, which is an extra expense. Being a lone parent can make climbing out of poverty an impossible task.

Looking after young children limits job opportunities and work flexibility. Finding affordable childcare can be another mountain to climb. Some women I’ve spoken to pay more for childcare than their wages and so have to rely on benefits to supplement their income.

A well-paid job with affordable childcare and work flexibility is almost impossible to find. Many women are compelled to stick to lowpaid jobs, with little chance of promotion and no work-related pension available, making their future very uncertain indeed.

Every day can be a struggle for many women either surviving on low wages or