Women: Closing the opportunity gap

  • We are renowned around the world for the opportunities upon which we insist and are continuing to work to close the opportunity gap between women and men.


  • We have made good progress towards ensuring all women have the opportunity to succeed in the workplace – getting more women into work, reducing the gender pay gap and increasing transparency.


  • There is more to do, so we have expanded our vision beyond the boardroom and launched a new vision for gender equality to financially empower women from their school days to their retirement.


Getting our country back on the road to a brighter future by:


  • Increasing the female employment rate to a record high. The female employment rate has reached 72.1 per cent, with 1.9 more women in work than in 2010.


  • Reducing the gender pay gap to a record low. We introduced rules meaning all large employers must report their gender pay gap data. In 2018, 100 per cent of employers complied and the gender pay gap fell to 8.9 per cent, down from 17.4 per cent when the survey first began in 1997.


  • Working to end violence against women and girls. We are reintroducing domestic abuse legislation in the Queen’s Speech and have committed over £100 million to tackle violence against women and girls and taken action to tackle FGM, stalking, forced marriage and revenge porn.


  • Putting marginalised women at the heart of our work on gender. We are focussing how we can help women who are economically inactive, in low paid and low skilled jobs or on legacy benefits, and women facing multiple barriers to being independent such as language skills or mental or physical health issues.


  • Launching a new roadmap for gender equality. The roadmap includes a range of measures to financially empower women from school to retirement, such as continuing to support family friendly policies in the workplace. We are also introducing stronger protections for new parents returning to work, supporting vulnerable women into work and publishing a new Code of Practice to tackle sexual harassment at work.


  • Ending period poverty for girls in the UK and abroad. We have committed to providing free sanitary products in hospitals, schools and colleges across England and have launched a campaign to end period poverty globally by 2030 and an expert taskforce to tackle it at home.


Q: Will you introduce abortion in Northern Ireland?

If Stormont is not back up and running by 21 October, we have a legal duty to provide access to abortion services in Northern Ireland. We recognise there are many sensitive issues, such as conscientious objection, that require careful consideration. A period of public consultation is the right thing, to allow people in Northern Ireland to provide views on how we can best deliver the reforms.