Motion 28 Poverty and its disproportionate impact on women

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Congress acknowledges that the effects of poverty are pervasive and long-lasting, and that women are more likely to live in poverty than men: most women still earn less than men, have lower incomes over a lifetime and are more likely to live in poverty in old age.

Almost half of single parents, mostly women, are living in poverty.

Poverty often leads to no access to the internet or reliance on pay-as-you-go services to access healthcare, education and benefits online.

Congress notes that women are disproportionally concentrated in low-paying industries, including cleaning, cashiering, caring, catering and clerical work. These jobs are often part-time, and increasingly, do not pay enough to lift a family out of poverty. Furthermore, these jobs are vulnerable to budgetary cuts, changing social habits and may not be done from home.

Congress is concerned at the decline in the number of high street shops, and the subsequent loss of jobs, and the impact of Covid-19, which have exacerbated the pressures on women relying on such employment.

Congress calls for the UK government to invest in improved retraining opportunities for women, including within further education, and to invest in free provision of child and social care to enable more women to access education, training and quality jobs.

Educational Institute of Scotland