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Study finds financial pressure on voluntary and public sector
Twice as many women as men will lose their voluntary and public sector jobs in Bradford as a result of cuts, new research claims.
And Asian women are the hardest-hit when it comes to trying to make a decent living, the study also found.
That information, along with more findings based on barriers to women having job security, will be included as evidence in a parliamentary inquiry by a cross-party group of MPs and Lords.
The inquiry is an attempt to find out why nationally one in five black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are unemployed, compared to one in four white women, and look for ways to reduce those inequalities.
The Bradford contribution gathered by the city’s Workers’ Health Advice Team (WHAT) will be part of a package of facts, figures and case studies being provided for the inquiry through the Women Working in the North Network.
In December last year, two workers from WHAT carried out in-depth interviews with women working in Bradford to look at what obstacles they faced to get a good wage.
Jane Howie, of the Workers’ Health Advice Team, said: “In Bradford we concentrated on interviewing women working in the voluntary and public sectors. We found that the main obstacle on the ability to earn a living for women at the moment was the cuts.
“Voluntary and public sector workers are made up of approximately 70 per cent women and it is estimated that more than twice as many women will lose their jobs than men because of the cuts in these sectors.”
The largest group of women interviewed were of South Asian origin and they told researchers it was particularly hard for them, partly because of language and discrimination issues, to earn a living.
The researchers have already met with Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe who plans to broach the subject at a House of Commons adjournment debate after the summer break.
According to the Bradford findings, some of the main obstacles to women earning a decent living are because they continue to do the majority of caring for family members. Some women said having to pay for vital training to get a skilled job also made it difficult.