No matter how many times people say that we don’t need feminism, facts prove that we do. For decades, we have been talking about men and women being equally capable and deserving. But the sad truth is that this idea is limited only to conversations, and nothing more.
The Sex and Power 2020 Index, published by the Fawcett society showed how men continue to dominate every sector of public life in UK. It highlighted the gender imbalances in various industries, such as politics, law, civil service, media, professional and sports administration sectors.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION?
More women than ever are now going outside the bounds of their homes and pursuing degrees and careers. But, centuries of oppression cannot be undone in a single decade. Men have been put at a higher pedestal since the beginning of time, and that gives them an undue advantage even now. It makes it easier for them to be able to make themselves capable of reaching high positions. As a result, other genders are left behind. This is not because of any fault of their own, but because of years of oppression that they still can’t completely overcome. This leads to a high disparity in between the number of men and women working at certain positions.
HOW BAD IS IT?
The number of women heading senior positions in any industry in the UK is almost negligible. In the legal sector, the Supreme Court has two women justices out of 12 (17%). Since its formation in 2009, there has never been a Supreme Court judge who is a person of colour.
Even though teaching is stereotypically a women’s job, they make up 39% of secondary headteachers. There has been no increase in this number since 2018. Just over a fifth of UK national newspaper editors are women, with just four women in the top jobs, while in sport, women make up 21% of national governing body chief executives – a drop from 26% in 2018. In the House of Commons, 34% of MPs are women.
Women of colour now make up 17% of the women MPs, which is in line with the population as a whole. There are no women of colour in the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
There can be no change in the role women have in society until the government makes efforts to. They need to provide them with resources and opportunities to fully utilize their potential. This can be done by implementing quotas, targets and policy interventions.
The Fawcett Society called on government, political parties, the judiciary and employers to take measures to increase the numbers of women in senior roles.
Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, said “I am determined to lead the fight to tackle gender disparity in all sectors by removing barriers to women’s progression.”