Longworth's paper "Has Austery driven a Feminist Democracy"39.59 KB is published by FPSW today, 22nd January 2019.
Are women more powerful now as a result of austerity?
Historically, women’s voices have been marginalised and their contributions to politics and the economy have been under-recognised and undervalued. There are well known cases where changes improving women’s rights have been achieved through grass roots campaigns and activism which draw media attention. Less well known is the huge impact women’s groups and individual women have had through behind the scenes collaboration at the policy making level, including internationally. During the period of austerity since 2010, the economic position of women has been worsened by more than that of men, and in the Brexit debate UK women’s voices have been ignored, despite the continuing work of activists. This paper shows that, over the same period, the feminist movement has been successful in raising the profile of several individual issues affecting women, with the potential to influence policy. It raises the questions of whether such activity has been driven by austerity or something else, whether the techniques used on individual issues would improve the notice taken of women’s voices in wider political decision making, and whether the ‘end of austerity’ will lead to the re-marginalisation of women’s voices.