Right, yesterday Anna Bird from the Fawcett Society spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour about her fears that child benefits would be cut. Interesting hearing the debate about universal benefits, especially as we in Wales have universal access to free prescriptions, parking at hospitals etc. My personal opinion is that everyone should have equal access, or there cannot be genuine equality. But that is a very state-centric view. Means more tax, plus more government interference in home life. Yet the Mail agrees with me?! Pinch me!
Interestingly, the proposals weren’t as bad as expected for a change. Unfortunately regional pay differences will still be pushed through, which still will punish public sector workers (majority of whom are women) who work outside London. Good analysis from Ed Cox of IPPR North on the issues in the New Statesman, and here’s another with a Welsh focus from Victoria Winckler of the Bevan Foundation.
Here’s a report from Chwarae Teg and the Institute for Welsh Affairs on encouraging men to adopt flexible working. Interstingly emlpoyers make reference to how they can encourage men to adopt more family friendly working throug policy implementation (p.27-28).
They reported uptake of flexible working among men, including those in traditionally “male” occupations such as manual labouring positions, that exceeded their expectations. That men actively desire to be involved in caring for family members is a view supported by the survey evidence presented earlier.
Yashar Ali has also written for the Huffington Post about men talking the opportunity to recognise gender inequality. He talks about when he had a completely different conversation with a video store worker than two women. Mine was when a former colleague who worked with me ages ago felt she had to join a union just to have a decent chat with her Manager. Crazy stuff.