June is the Month We Say Goodbye to May

Gender equality in the UK hasn’t progressed since 21 November 1918

Photo by Adi Ulici on Unsplash

Read any advice on keeping followers, it says don’t talk about politics. Well, I have decided to be brave.

Recently the UK Prime Minister, Teresa May has announced that she is stepping down from the job. If like me you live in the UK, you are well aware of this. The male contingent of the Conservative government has lost faith in her. It is also quoted that so have the British public.

In general, I think the British people have lost faith in politics, not one person. No party is better than the rest, no leader better. We have a corrupt system. We find ourselves voting for the better of the evils, rather than the best candidate.

The History

If we look at the history of Brexit, we see that the fault should not be put onto Teresa May. David Cameron took us into a referendum on leaving Europe. It was during this campaign that lies and misinformation was told on both sides. No one side told the truth. When Cameron didn’t get the decision he wanted, to remain, he got up and left. Like a spoilt boy at a football game, he picked up his ball and left the pitch.

We were then left with no leader, so a leader contest began. Did the elite Conservative men put themselves forward for the job, well no? Up stepped Teresa May, someone who had been against Brexit. She was voted in, no man wanted the poison chalice. As any woman would, she stood up when no one else was interested.

What a job it was. It was never going to be an easy negotiation and no one could have got a result, that would have pleased everyone. She worked her arse off, at an impossible situation. The men that backed her for the job disappeared.

The elite men then decided they no longer want a woman in charge. They have kicked her out.

Thank you for holding the fort, we can take over now.

Women in Politics

I am not saying that I agree with everything Teresa May has done. I am not even saying who I voted for. What I am saying is sexism in politics still remains.

Let’s look at the American Election. A country that was more ready to vote a mad businessman into power than a woman.

At present in the UK only 22% of cabinet members are women. Contained in that statistic is Teresa May. Only the second ever female Prime Minister.

In December 2018 an audit was carried out by a panel consisting of four MPs, four members of the House of Lords, and two staff members from each House. The panel identified four barriers that may make it harder for women to become MPs or members of the Lords:

  • The culture of Parliament, as highlighted in recent reports of bullying and harassment, and sexual harassment;
  • Online threats and threats to physical security, in particular, gender-based intimidation, harassment and violence against female parliamentarians and female candidates;
  • The challenges that working in Parliament poses for family life, including the unpredictability of business and potentially long hours;
  • The financial impact of standing for Parliament.

The panel was established after a prominent female MP raised issues of bullying and harassment.

Simply put women are under-represented in UK politics. Did Teresa May lose her job because she was incompetent or because she was a woman?

Politics is Just The Start

Politics is one example of gender equality in the UK. The gender pay gap in education stands at 8.1% in favour of men. The gender pay gap in the country is 3.9% in favour of men.

I recently worked for a local football club, there was a member of staff being paid the same as myself. He was a teacher, I was a Deputy Head. I am qualified to degree level, he hasn’t even got a teaching qualification. The reason, he was male and a friend of the chairman. Jobs for the boys.

Again if we look at America and the new abortion laws, do we need a better example of sexism. Men are making a decision on women’s bodies. This whole issue is summed up in this article by Elle Fredine.

Whether you are a teacher or the prime minister of the UK the inequality is evident. The gap is shown in attitudes, respect and pay. To change this I believe we are heading towards a ‘burn the bra’ type movement for women.

Resources

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Written by

UK writer & writing coach - views on writing, parenting, mental health & more. Want to improve your writing — https://www.patreon.com/samharnold

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