It means so much to so many women around the world,” said Conservative MP Vicky Ford on Monday after announcing that Britain’s next Prime Minister would indeed be another woman – Liz Truss.
The Minister for Africa believes that Truss’ move to Downing Street represents a welcome change in women’s prospects at home and around the world – and perhaps in a way she is right.
I can’t pretend I’m not pleased to see the back of notorious womanizer Boris Johnson, a man who has called women “totty”, attacked single mothers and found it acceptable to call his colleague David Cameron “girly.” to designate swot. .
The Labor Party should also give some thought to what that looks like. Three female prime ministers against not a single female leader, even in opposition. Why does Labor membership continue to vote men? It’s a problem that needs to be looked at with some honesty.
But should the rest of us follow Ford’s lead? Right now, women have never been more in need of strong leadership serving their interests.
Earning less than men, we are the hardest hit by the housing crisis and rising cost of living, and live in a state of extreme vigilance knowing only too well that Britain is not being policed in our best interests.
Is there any reason for us to believe that Truss, rather than Johnson, will pull the levers of power to improve our circumstances? Your record suggests the opposite. We’re sorry.
Throughout her leadership campaign, a tack both from Rishi Sunak – her opposing title contender – and beyond has been her lack of specific defining values; She has changed her political cover so many times that no one knows what she stands for, other than her appetite for being close to power. Not much has changed from Boris.
Once a Liberal Democrat, then a small Conservative, a Centrist Remainer, she’s since blossomed as a Brexit-loving free market woman about to give energy bosses a huge, great, government-backed loan that each of us must pay back, when the sunny highlands finally appear on the horizon. Your values are malleable.
It is under this government that women are feeling the hardest effects of the post-pandemic and post-Brexit economic crisis.
They are more likely to earn less, are more likely to pay a higher percentage of their income towards housing costs, are more likely to receive benefits for themselves and their dependents, and are more likely to be poor.
In each of these actions, Truss has played an active role in creating the economic climate that women now suffer.
She has consistently spoken out against an inflation-compliant increase in benefits and in favor of a reduction in benefit payments overall.
She also voted with the government for welfare reform, including capping certain payments through the “bedroom tax” and the two-child support limit.
Their answer to the cost-of-living crisis is far-reaching tax cuts, which would primarily benefit wealthy men at the expense of poorer women, primarily through cuts in social security.
Analysis by the Women’s Budget Group found that cutting Social Security would save women £237 and men £263 a year on average.
The group argues that the policy would leave a huge void in health and social care budgets, sectors that are predominantly occupied by women and more likely to be used by them as citizens.
The group’s statement on the nomination of the prime minister described women as “shock absorbers of poverty” but warns “their financial resilience has been eroded by a decade of welfare benefits and public sector cuts…. [meaning] that women are ill-equipped to deal with the current cost of living crisis. We need to see Truss acknowledge that.”
Unlikely, her colleagues in Westminster warn. In addition to her role as secretary of state, Truss previously held the post of secretary for equality and her record in office was poor.
A scathing analysis of her tenure by the all-party Women and Equality Committee warned that during her tenure Britain risked “a regression on equality after decades of progress”.
Caroline Nokes, the chair of the committee, claimed Truss treats the important and essential work of progress towards gender equality as a mere “sideline”.
The committee – which she was unable to attend in person – described a “lack of willingness to invest energy in creating change” under her ministerial oversight.
During her tenure, the number of rape convictions reached an all-time low and is still falling. In the wake of the tragedy of Sarah Everard’s rape and murder at the hands of an acting police officer – and the subsequent revelations of multiple counts of sexist and misogynist behavior by male police officers – policing the rights of women and girls has become a priority for voters. Crime and police experts say their law and order statements are “meaningless”.
Her record is unconvincing, but that doesn’t mean her status as the third female prime minister is irrelevant.
She knows it separates the conservatives from the opposition. She will also seek to make her cabinet appointments a trait and a virtue that leaves no white man in the big four offices of state – progress for Britain in representation, if not in politics.
She has also attempted to use her gender in a tentative entry into the political debate on trans rights, declaring (in a remarkably vague way) that she knows “a woman is a woman”.
However, women hoping that a female leader will see her outlook changed or a radical overhaul of conservative politics in her favor are likely to be disappointed.
https://www.independent.ie/news/liz-truss-is-britains-third-female-pm-but-this-isnt-a-win-for-women-41971032.html Liz Truss is Britain’s third female Prime Minister – but that’s not a victory for women