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On 29th April the DCMS (Government Equalities Office) has responded to our petition. It identifies the things which the coalition government have done for women, whilst making no commitments for the future; I guess we must look in the separate manifestos for those? Fair Play South West is preparing a detailed analysis ..... watch this space!
Our Ref: CMS 264834
29 April 2015
Dear Ms Longworth,
Thank you for your letter and petition to Secretary of State for Education and Minister
for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan, the contents of which have been noted.
Progress is being made in ensuring girls and women are able to realise their full
potential. There are now more women in employment than ever before; since May
2010 there are 851,000 more women in employment and 163,000 fewer women
unemployed. The gender pay gap (the difference between men and women’s
average hourly wages) is now at its lowest point in history at 19.1%. The right to
request flexible working has been extended to all and shared parental leave was
introduced in April 2015. Free early education hours for 3 and 4 year olds have
increased to 15 hours a week and free early learning places have been extended to
40% of the most disadvantaged 2 year olds as of September 2014.
In working to end violence against women and girls (VAWG), the Government
published a crossgovernment
strategy, A Call to End Violence Against Women and
Girls, and supporting action plan, which focuses on prevention, provision of services
for victims, partnership working, and risk reduction and improved justice outcomes.
The number of women in Parliament has improved; 22.6% of MPs in the last
Parliament were women, up from 19.5% in April 20101. There are eight women
attending Cabinet, with a further 22 women in high profile roles across Government.
Action has been taken to widen the talent pool from which candidates are elected.
The Government implemented the provisions in the Equality Act 2010, enabling
political parties to use positive action to encourage participation in politics among
groups, whilst considering all prospective candidates on their
In terms of healthcare, the Government has worked in several areas to help women.
For example, two thirds of those suffering with dementia are women. The Dementia
Challenge 20122015
aimed to improve health and care for people with dementia,
creating dementia friendly communities and boosting dementia research.
Public Health England (PHE) is working with NHS England and the National LGBT
Partnership to integrate sexual orientation monitoring alongside other demographic
data collection across the NHS. PHE is also working with the Lesbian and Gay
Foundation to develop resources to support cervical and breast cancer screening for
lesbian and bisexual women and has been providing specific support through the
national screening programmes to ensure that trans women receive appropriate
screening invitations, care and treatment.
In England, the number of inpatient Mother and Baby Units specialising in psychiatric
care during the perinatal period increased from 10 units in 2010 to17 units in 2014.
An additional 4000 health visitors are in post with an additional 900 completing
training. There are nearly 2200 more midwives than in 2010, with over 6000 in
training. The Government has trained 600 perinatal mental health visitor champions
who are supporting health visitors with the identification and management of anxiety,
mild to moderate depression and other perinatal mental disorders.
Thank you once again for your letter.
Yours sincerely,
Ilana Myers
Government Equalities Office


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