The government was targeted today over the "enormous damage" it has done to women's lives since it came power.
As the world celebrated International Women's Day today, professional services PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that British women are less likely to be in work, experience worse job security and greater pay inequality than those in other developed countries.
Britain was ranked 18th out of 27 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries in 2011 on five indicators of female economic empowerment, such as equality of earnings with men.
The group said progress has also been slower than other countries and has stalled since the beginning of the credit crunch in 2007.
Yong Jing Teow, who wrote a report on the issue, said it was worrying that Britain's progress in encouraging more women into work and closing the gender pay gap had all but ground to a halt since the recession hit.
She said: "Women in the UK are struggling against a backdrop of rising female unemployment since 2007, above average pay inequality and fewer full-time employment opportunities."
And Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the situation had been made far worse by backward Con-Dem austerity measures.
He said: "Women have borne the brunt of the government's austerity measures. They've been hit hardest by recession, by government benefit cuts and, thanks to this government's ideology-driven attacks to our public services, have seen record unemployment."
Only two firms in the FTSE 100 had women chief executives, said the CMI, adding that its research revealed gender pay gaps, the wrong role models and lack of self-confidence were the biggest challenges holding back female managers.
n A 1911 census record purposefully spoilt by a suffragette in opposition to the patriarchal government of the day has been released to mark International Women's Day.
Family history site Ancestry.co.uk said the record revealed Rosina Mary Pott's entry, which demonstrated her clear stance on equal rights, with the message: "No Vote, no information about my household" scrawled across it.
A spokesman said: "This record represents a timely and symbolic reminder of the suffragettes' fight to change people's attitudes and obtain basic women's voting rights for themselves and future generations."
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