In-work poverty and the search for decent work for women in Wales: A literature review
Rising levels of female employment havemade the UK labour market almost unrecognisable from that offive decades ago. Yet,whilst women’s contribution to the Welsh economy is growing, disparity between men’s and women’s participation in, and treatment by the labour market remains. A more equallabour market is important for both women themselves and for the economy. Government estimates indicate that by reducing the gender pay gap the UK economy wouldbenefit by £150 billion. Similarly,if female employment levels in the UK matched those in other countries,the UK GDP would be raised by 9%. This makes a strong case for a more gender focused labour market policy to respond to the increasingly de-regulated labour market that disproportionately affects women more adversely than men.
This literature review forms part of Oxfam Cymru’s programme to develop a set of policy solutions to enable women on low incomes in Wales to progress in their careers and move themselves out of poverty or reduce their risk of entering poverty.The remit of the paper is to engage with the literature to analyse evidence on the links between gender and poverty, unravelling the possible underlying causes in order to be able to outline policy recommendations that fall within the Welsh Government’s devolved powers surrounding employability.