Today, in Britain's full-time workforce, there is an average 16.4 gap between women and men in their hourly rates of pay . Although it varies across work sectors, the most striking is the 55 gap in the finance sector. In total 64% of the lowest paid workers are women . A' 40 years on from the Equal Pay Act this might seem shocking. However, should we actually be surprised? Within politics and senior management structures across the world, women are grossly underrepresented. Throughout history they have played a subservient role in society at large. Even at times when a woman did in fact control a leadership role, such as Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s, little was done to advance women's' rights.
When it comes to the Welfare State, does it really come as surprise to any of us that its structure and practices actively discriminate against women in a number of ways? Within society it is women who tend to be the primary carer for their children and increasingly for their elderly parents too. This work is an essential element of society yet it is unpaid and little to no recognition is given to it by countries that operate within the European Welfare State Structure. Women are far more likely than men to take time out from their working life to look after their dependents and society expects them to do this.
[...] What Beveridge's comments demonstrate is that these people were ignored from the very conception of the Welfare State. At the time of publication the majority of single parent families were run by widowed women who had lost their male partners. His comments display a gender bias which assumes that every child lives within a particular familial structure even though he knew that this was not the case. Given that this was the basis from which the Welfare State, in Britain and indeed the wider world, derived from, it can come as no surprise today that it as a political and social entity still actively discriminates against women by placing no monetary value on the caring work done by so many in society. [...]
[...] Gender, In: The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, ed. by Francis Castles et al. (Oxford, 2010), pp. 252-264 Pateman, Carole. The Patriachical Welfare State, In: in The Welfare State Reader, ed. by Pierson, Christopher / Francis G. Castles (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 134- 151 -----------------------  Diana Kasparova & Others, ‘Pay: Who were the winners and losers of the New Labour era?', (London: The Work Foundation, 2010), p.6 http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/inquiries-and- assessments/inquiry-into-sex- discrimination-in-the-finance-sector/, Financial Services Inquiry: Sex discrimination and gender pay gap report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, (2009), accessed 7th March 2011  http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=321, Equal Pay: The Facts, accessed 7th March 2011  A. [...]
[...] What factors account for the long-lasting neglect of Women in Public Welfare Systems? Today, in Britain's' full-time workforce, there is an average 16.4% gap between women and men in their hourly rates of pay. Although it varies across work sectors, the most striking is the 55% gap in the finance sector. In total 64% of the lowest paid workers are women. ‘A' 40 years on from the Equal Pay Act this might seem shocking. However, should we actually be surprised? [...]
[...] What is not recognised is the unpaid work done by primary carers who take time out of their working life to look after their dependents. The failure to acknowledge this very important work, the vast majority of which is carried out by women, is an act of discrimination and it is one of the reasons why many welfare states neglect women. As Jane Lewis has demonstrated in her research, the last quarter of the twentieth century saw “the male breadwinner model […]eroded but the social reality is still far from a family compromised of self-sufficient, autonomous individuals”. [...]
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