We’re #EmbracingEquality, this International Women’s Day and every day.
Equality does not mean treating everyone the same. Equality means treating each groups according to their requirements and experiences to achieve the same service, experience and outcomes for all.
Women still experience misogyny and discrimination in society. For example, a gender pay gap remains in Wales and employment rates are lower for Women (69.7%) than men (76.5%) according to Wellbeing of Wales 2022, with career segregation and a glass ceiling still being encountered by many women.
Women are also more likely to experience domestic abuse and to not feel safe. During 2021-22, 51% of women said they felt safe in their community compared to 81% of men, with women around 4 times more likely to feel very unsafe while walking alone in their local area after dark than men (Wellbeing of Wales 2022).
There’s also still a lack of understanding, research and support around the menopause and women’s health concerns, a lack of representation, and negative attitudes to pregnancy and maternity, alongside gendered assumptions throughout society. This is unacceptable and as a society we need to change attitudes and behaviours.
To achieve equality, we must take an intersectional approach. Women’s experiences vary throughout the life course, as younger women to older women. We also know Disabled, LGBTQ+, and Black, Asian, and minoritised ethnic women, and women of different religions, faiths, and beliefs, experience discrimination and disadvantage in society differently.
These different experiences and the ways that societal attitudes and discrimination vary for different communities must be at the centre of all our thinking and actions to address misogyny, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by women in Wales.